In vitro gene delivery using polyamidoamine dendrimers with a trimesyl core.


Journal Article

Polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimer represents one of the most efficient polymeric gene carriers. To investigate the effect of the core structure and generation of dendrimers on the complex formation and transfection efficiency, a series of PAMAM dendrimers with a trimesyl core (DT) at different generations (DT4 to DT8) were developed as gene carriers and compared with the PAMAM dendrimers derived from pentaerythritol (DP) and inositol (DI). The minimal generation number of DTs at which the dendrimer has enough amino group density to effectively condense DNA was higher (generation 6) than those of DPs and DIs (generation 5). DTs of generation 6 or higher condensed DNA into complexes with an average diameter ranging from 100 to 300 nm, but the 4th and 5th generations of DT (DT4 and DT5) formed only a severe aggregate with DNA. Interestingly, the DT6/pDNA complex was determined to be much smaller (100-300 nm) than those prepared with DP5 or DI5 (>600 nm) at N/P ratios higher than 15. The optimal generation numbers at which the dendrimers showed the highest transgene expression in COS-7 cells were 5 for DPs and DIs but 6 for DTs. The DT6/pDNAcomplex with smaller size mediated higher transgene expression in COS-7 cells than those prepared with DP5 or DI5. The in vitro transfection efficiency of the DT dendrimers as evaluated in HeLa cells, COS-7 cells, and primary hepatocytes decreased in the order of DT6 > DT7 > DT8 > DT5 > DT4. The transfection mediated by DT6 was significantly inhibited by bafilomycin A1. The acid-base titration curve for DT6 showed high buffer capacity in the pH range from 5.5 to 6.4 (pK(a) approximately 6). This permits dendrimers to buffer the pH change in the endosomal compartment. However, the transfection efficiency mediated by DT6 decreased significantly in the presence of serum in both HeLa cells and COS-7 cells. The cytotoxicity of DTs evaluated in HeLa cells using the 3-{4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl}-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay showed a trend of increasing toxicity with the polymer generations. The LD50 values of DT4 through DT8 were 628, 236, 79, 82, and 77 microg/mL, respectively, which were higher than that of poly(ethyleneimide) (18 microg/mL) and poly(L-lysine) (28 microg/mL) in the same assay. With a lower cytotoxicity and versatility for chemical conjugation, these PAMAM dendrimers with a DT core warrant further investigation for nonviral gene delivery.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Zhang, X-Q; Wang, X-L; Huang, S-W; Zhuo, R-X; Liu, Z-L; Mao, H-Q; Leong, KW

Published Date

  • January 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 341 - 350

PubMed ID

  • 15638538

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15638538

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1526-4602

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1525-7797

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/bm040060n


  • eng