Sean P Gunsten

Washington University in St. Louis, San Luis, Missouri, United States

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Publications (9)41.53 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Acute lung injury (ALI) is a complex syndrome with many aetiologies, resulting in the upregulation of inflammatory mediators in the host, followed by dyspnoea, hypoxemia and pulmonary oedema. A central mediator is inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) that drives the production of NO and continued inflammation. Thus, it is useful to have diagnostic and therapeutic agents for targeting iNOS expression. One general approach is to target the precursor iNOS mRNA with antisense nucleic acids. Peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) have many advantages that make them an ideal platform for development of antisense theranostic agents. Their membrane impermeability, however, limits biological applications. Here, we report the preparation of an iNOS imaging probe through electrostatic complexation between a radiolabelled antisense PNA-YR9 · oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) hybrid and a cationic shell-cross-linked knedel-like nanoparticle (cSCK). The Y (tyrosine) residue was used for (123)I radiolabelling, whereas the R9 (arginine9) peptide was included to facilitate cell exit of untargeted PNA. Complete binding of the antisense PNA-YR9 · ODN hybrid to the cSCK was achieved at an 8 : 1 cSCK amine to ODN phosphate (N/P) ratio by a gel retardation assay. The antisense PNA-YR9 · ODN · cSCK nanocomplexes efficiently entered RAW264.7 cells, whereas the PNA-YR9 · ODN alone was not taken up. Low concentrations of (123)I-labelled antisense PNA-YR9 · ODN complexed with cSCK showed significantly higher retention of radioactivity when iNOS was induced in lipopolysaccharide+interferon-γ-activated RAW264.7 cells when compared with a mismatched PNA. Moreover, statistically, greater retention of radioactivity from the antisense complex was also observed in vivo in an iNOS-induced mouse lung after intratracheal administration of the nanocomplexes. This study demonstrates the specificity and sensitivity by which the radiolabelled nanocomplexes can detect iNOS mRNA in vitro and in vivo and their potential for early diagnosis of ALI.
    Interface focus: a theme supplement of Journal of the Royal Society interface 06/2013; 3(3):20120059. · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The use of nebulizable, nanoparticle-based antimicrobial delivery systems can improve efficacy and reduce toxicity for treatment of multi-drug resistant bacteria in the chronically infected lungs of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Nanoparticle vehicles are particularly useful for applying broad-spectrum silver-based antimicrobials, for instance, to improve the residence time of small-molecule silver carbene complexes (SCCs) within the lung. Therefore, we have synthesized multi-functional, shell crosslinked knedel-like polymeric nanoparticles (SCK NPs) and capitalized on the ability to independently load the shell and core with silver-based antimicrobial agents. We formulated three silver-loaded variants of SCK NPs: shell-loaded with silver cations, core-loaded with SCC10, and combined loading of shell silver cations and core SCC10. All three formulations provided a sustained delivery of silver over the course of at least two-to-four days. The two SCK NP formulations with SCC10 loaded in the core each exhibited excellent antimicrobial activity and efficacy in vivo in a mouse model of Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia. SCK NPs with shell silver cation-load only, while efficacious in vitro, failed to demonstrate efficacy in vivo. However, a single dose of core SCC10-loaded SCK NPs (0.74 ± 0.16 mg Ag) provided a 28% survival advantage over sham treatment, and administration of two doses (0.88 mg Ag) improved survival to 60%. In contrast, a total of 14.5 mg Ag+ delivered over 5 doses at 12-hour intervals was necessary to achieve a 60% survival advantage with a free-drug (SCC1) formulation. Thus, SCK NPs show promise for clinical impact by greatly reducing antimicrobial dosage and dosing frequency, which could minimize toxicity and improve patient adherence.
    ACS Nano 05/2013; · 12.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this work, degradable cationic shell cross-linked knedel-like (deg-cSCK) nanoparticles were developed as an alternative platform to replace similar nondegradable cSCK nanoparticles that have been utilized for nucleic acids delivery. An amphiphilic diblock copolymer poly(acrylamidoethylamine)90-block-poly(dl-lactide)40 (PAEA90-b-PDLLA40) was synthesized, self-assembled in aqueous solution, and shell cross-linked using a hydrolyzable cross-linker to afford deg-cSCKs with an average core diameter of 45 ± 7 nm. These nanoparticles were fluorescently labeled for in vitro tracking. The enzymatic- and hydrolytic-degradability, siRNA binding affinity, cell uptake and cytotoxicity of the deg-cSCKs were evaluated. Esterase-catalyzed hydrolysis of the nanoparticles resulted in the degradation of ca. 24% of the PDLLA core into lactic acid within 5 d, as opposed to only ca. 9% degradation from aqueous solutions of the deg-cSCK nanoparticles in the absence of enzyme. Cellular uptake of deg-cSCKs was efficient, while exhibiting low cytotoxicity with LD50 values of ca. 90 and 30 μg/mL in RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages and MLE 12 cell lines, respectively, ca. 5- to 6-fold lower than the cytotoxicity observed for nondegradable cSCK analogs. Additionally, deg-cSCKs were able to complex siRNA at an N/P ratio as low as 2, and were efficiently able to facilitate cellular uptake of the complexed nucleic acids.
    Biomacromolecules 03/2013; · 5.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cilia are traditionally classified as motile or primary. Motile cilia are restricted to specific populations of well-differentiated epithelial cells, including those in the airway, brain ventricles, and oviducts. Primary cilia are nonmotile, solitary structures that are present in many cell types, and often have sensory functions such as in the retina and renal tubules. Primary cilia were also implicated in the regulation of fundamental processes in development. Rare depictions of primary cilia in embryonic airways led us to hypothesize that primary cilia in airway cells are temporally related to motile ciliogenesis. We identified primary cilia in undifferentiated, cultured airway epithelial cells from mice and humans and in developing lungs. The solitary cilia in the airways express proteins considered unique to primary cilia, including polycystin-1 and polycystin-2. A temporal analysis of airway epithelial cell differentiation showed that cells with primary cilia acquire markers of motile ciliogenesis, suggesting that motile ciliated cells originate from primary ciliated cells. Whereas motile ciliogenesis requires Foxj1, primary ciliogenesis does not, and the expression of Foxj1 was associated with a loss of primary cilia, just before the appearance of motile cilia. Primary cilia were not found in well-differentiated airway epithelial cells. However, after injury, they appear in the luminal layer of epithelium and in basal cells. The transient nature of primary cilia, together with the temporal and spatial patterns of expression in the development and repair of airway epithelium, suggests a critical role of primary cilia in determining outcomes during airway epithelial cell differentiation.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 12/2010; 43(6):731-9. · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Viral bronchiolitis is the leading cause of hospitalization in young infants. It is associated with the development of childhood asthma and contributes to morbidity and mortality in the elderly. Currently no therapies effectively attenuate inflammation during the acute viral infection, or prevent the risk of post-viral asthma. We hypothesized that early treatment of a paramyxoviral bronchiolitis with azithromycin would attenuate acute and chronic airway inflammation. Mice were inoculated with parainfluenza type 1, Sendai Virus (SeV), and treated daily with PBS or azithromycin for 7 days post-inoculation. On day 8 and 21 we assessed airway inflammation in lung tissue, and quantified immune cells and inflammatory mediators in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). Compared to treatment with PBS, azithromycin significantly attenuated post-viral weight loss. During the peak of acute inflammation (day 8), azithromycin decreased total leukocyte accumulation in the lung tissue and BAL, with the largest fold-reduction in BAL neutrophils. This decreased inflammation was independent of changes in viral load. Azithromycin significantly attenuated the concentration of BAL inflammatory mediators and enhanced resolution of chronic airway inflammation evident by decreased BAL inflammatory mediators on day 21. In this mouse model of paramyxoviral bronchiolitis, azithromycin attenuated acute and chronic airway inflammation. These findings demonstrate anti-inflammatory effects of azithromycin that are not related to anti-viral activity. Our findings support the rationale for future prospective randomized clinical trials that will evaluate the effects of macrolides on acute viral bronchiolitis and their long-term consequences.
    Respiratory research 01/2010; 11:90. · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polymer chemistry offers the possibility of synthesizing multifunctional nanoparticles which incorporate moieties that enhance diagnostic and therapeutic targeting of cargo delivery to the lung. However, since rules for predicting particle behavior following modification are not well-defined, it is essential that probes for tracking fate in vivo are also included. Accordingly, we designed polyacrylamide-based hydrogel particles of differing sizes, functionalized with a nona-arginine cell-penetrating peptide (Arg(9)), and labeled with imaging components to assess lung retention and cellular uptake after intratracheal administration. Radiolabeled microparticles (1-5 microm diameter) and nanoparticles (20-40 nm diameter) without and with Arg(9) showed diffuse airspace distribution by positron emission tomography imaging. Biodistribution studies revealed that particle clearance and extrapulmonary distribution was, in part, size dependent. Microparticles were rapidly cleared by mucociliary routes but, unexpectedly, also through the circulation. In contrast, nanoparticles had prolonged lung retention enhanced by Arg(9) and were significantly restricted to the lung. For all particle types, uptake was predominant in alveolar macrophages and, to a lesser extent, lung epithelial cells. In general, particles did not induce local inflammatory responses, with the exception of microparticles bearing Arg(9). Whereas microparticles may be advantageous for short-term applications, nanosized particles constitute an efficient high-retention and non-inflammatory vehicle for the delivery of diagnostic imaging agents and therapeutics to lung airspaces and alveolar macrophages that can be enhanced by Arg(9). Importantly, our results show that minor particle modifications may significantly impact in vivo behavior within the complex environments of the lung, underscoring the need for animal modeling.
    Molecular Pharmaceutics 10/2009; 6(6):1891-902. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Definitive conclusions regarding the antiinflammatory effects of macrolide antibiotics for treatment of asthma are difficult to formulate since their beneficial effects may be related to their antimicrobial action. We hypothesized that azithromycin possesses distinct antiinflammatory properties and tested this assumption in a noninfectious mouse model of allergic asthma. To induce allergic airway inflammation, 7-week-old BALB/cJ mice underwent intraperitoneal ovalbumin sensitization on days 0 and 7 followed by an intranasal challenge on day 14. Mice were treated with azithromycin or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) solution on days 13 through 16. On day 17, airway inflammation was assessed by quantifying leukocytes in the airway, expression of multiple inflammatory mediators in the BAL fluid, and mucous cell metaplasia. In a separate set of experiments, azithromycin or PBS solution treatment were initiated after the ovalbumin challenge. Each experiment was repeated 3 times (a total of 9 to 11 mice in each group). Compared to treatment with PBS solution, azithromycin attenuated the ovalbumin-dependent airway inflammation. We observed a decrease in total leukocytes in the lung tissue and BAL fluid. In addition, azithromycin attenuated the expression of cytokines (eg, interleukin [IL]-13 and IL-5) and chemokines (eg, CCL2, CCL3, and CCL4) in the BAL fluid and abrogated the extent of mucous cell metaplasia. Similar antiinflammatory effects were observed when azithromycin treatment was initiated after the ovalbumin challenge. In this noninfectious mouse model of allergic asthma, azithromycin attenuated allergic airway inflammation. These findings demonstrate an antiinflammatory effect of azithromycin and suggest azithromycin may have beneficial effects in treating noninfectious airway inflammatory diseases, including asthma.
    Chest 06/2009; 136(2):498-506. · 5.85 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology - J ALLERG CLIN IMMUNOL. 01/2009; 123(2).
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    ABSTRACT: A protective immune response to a respiratory viral infection requires a series of coordinated cellular and molecular responses. We have previously demonstrated that increased expression of airway epithelial cell interleukin (IL)-12 p80, a macrophage chemoattractant, is associated with human respiratory viral infection and mediates post-viral mortality in the mouse. To better understand the role of IL-12 p80-dependent macrophage chemotaxis in mediating viral immunity, we generated a transgenic mouse strain utilizing a promoter to drive IL-12 p40 gene expression in the airway epithelium. This transgenic strain secreted biologically active IL-12 p80 in a lung-specific manner, and demonstrated a selective increase in the number of resident, unactivated airway macrophages at baseline. Following infection with a sublethal dose of mouse parainfluenza virus type 1 (Sendai virus), the transgenic mice demonstrated an earlier peak and decline in the number of airway inflammatory cells. The transgenic mice were resistant to a lethal dose of virus and this viral resistance was dependent on the increased number of airway macrophages at baseline as partial depletion prior to infection abrogated this phenotype. The survival advantage in the transgenic mice was independent of viral load but was associated with a more rapid decline in the number of airway inflammatory cells and concentrations of multiple chemokines including the CC chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2)/JE, CCL3/macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1alpha, CCL4/MIP-1beta, and CCL5/RANTES. Collectively, these results suggest that IL-12 p80-driven increases in the number of resident airway macrophages prime the host for a protective immune response that can confer increased survival following a lethal respiratory viral infection.
    Immunology 10/2008; 126(4):500-13. · 3.71 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

96 Citations
41.53 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008–2013
    • Washington University in St. Louis
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care
      San Luis, Missouri, United States
  • 2009
    • CSU Mentor
      Long Beach, California, United States
  • 2008–2009
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • • Department of Pediatrics
      • • Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
      Seattle, WA, United States