ABSTRACT: Gene therapy shows promising application in cancer therapy, but the lack of an ideal gene delivery system is still a tough challenge for cancer gene therapy. Previously, we prepared a novel cationic nanogel, heparin-polyethylenimine (HPEI), which had potential application in gene delivery. In the present study, we constructed a plasmid with high expression efficiency of interleukin-15 (IL15) and investigated the effects HPEI-plasmid IL15 (HPEI-pIL15) complexes on the distribution level of the lung. We then evaluated the anticancer effect of HPEI-pIL15 complexes on lung metastases of B16-F10 melanoma and CT26 colon carcinoma. These results demonstrated that intravenous injection of the HPEI-pIL15 complex exhibited the highest plasmid distribution level in the lung compared with that of PEI2K-pIL15 and PEI25K-pIL15, and mice treated with HPEI-pIL15 had a lower tumor metastasis index compared with other treatment groups. Moreover, the number of natural killer cells, which were intermingled among the tumor cells, and the level of tumor necrosis factor-α and interferon-γ in the serum also increased in the pIL15-treated mice. Furthermore, the cytotoxic activity of spleen cells also increased significantly in the HPEI-pIL15 group. In addition, induction of apoptosis and inhibition of cell proliferation in lung tumor foci in the HPEI-pIL15 group was observed. Taken together, treating lung metastasis cancer with the HPEI nanogels delivered by plasmid IL15 might be a new and interesting cancer gene therapy protocol.
Cancer Science 07/2011; 102(7):1403-9. · 3.33 Impact Factor