Osam Mazda

Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kioto, Kyōto, Japan

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Publications (151)529.99 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: During recent decades, multipotent stem cells were found to reside in the adipose tissue, and these adipose-derived stem cells were shown to play beneficial roles, like those of Schwann cells, in peripheral nerve regeneration. However, it has not been well established whether adipose-derived stem cells offer beneficial effects to peripheral nerve injuries in vivo as Schwann cells do. Furthermore, the in situ survival and differentiation of adipose-derived stem cells after transplantation at the injured peripheral nerve tissue remain to be fully elucidated. Methods: Adipose-derived stem cells and Schwann cells were transplanted with gelatin hydrogel tubes at the artificially blunted sciatic nerve lesion in mice. Neuroregenerative abilities of them were comparably estimated. Cre-loxP–mediated fate tracking was performed to visualize survival in vivo of transplanted adipose-derived stem cells and to investigate whether they differentiated into Schwann linage cells at the peripheral nerve injury site. Results: The transplantation of adipose-derived stem cells promoted regeneration of axons, formation of myelin, and restoration of denervation muscle atrophy to levels comparable to those achieved by Schwann cell transplantation. The adipose-derived stem cells survived for at least 4 weeks after transplantation without differentiating into Schwann cells. Conclusions: Transplanted adipose-derived stem cells did not differentiate into Schwann cells but promoted peripheral nerve regeneration at the injured site. The neuroregenerative ability was comparable to that of Schwann cells. Adipose-derived stem cells at an undifferentiated stage may be used as an alternative cell source for autologous cell therapy for patients with peripheral nerve injury.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: To examine whether an autonomously replicating, artificial chromosome-like vector containing a long genomic DNA sequence (namely, Epigenosome-Nanog) undergoes de novo CpG methylation after maintenance in cultured cells for more than a half year. Results: Epigenosome-Nanog efficiently replicated in iPS cells after transfection. In HeLa and C2C12 cells Epigenosome-Nanog was stably maintained for more than eight months. The CpG methylation occurred de novo at the Nanog gene promoter region on the epigenosome in C2C12 cells but the degrees of methylation were much lower than those at the same CpG sites on the chromosomes. Among the four CpG sites at the region, the upstream two CpGs underwent methylation in a correlated manner while methylation at the downstream two CpGs was also correlated to each other, and these correlations were commonly shared between the epigenosome and the chromosome. CpG methylation thus was not solely dependent on the nucleotide sequence at the DNA locus. Conclusion: The epigenosome may become a useful tool to study the mechanisms of epigenetic regulation of a genetic region of interest in mammalian cells.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Biotechnology Letters
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    ABSTRACT: Podoplanin is an endogenous ligand for C-type lectin-like receptor 2 (CLEC-2), which is expressed on platelets. Recent evidence indicates that this specific marker of lymphatic endothelial cells is also expressed by keratinocytes at the edge of wounds. However, whether podoplanin or platelets play a role in keratinocyte activity during wound healing remains unknown. We evaluated the effect of podoplanin expression levels on keratinocyte motility using cultured primary normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEKs). Down-regulation of podoplanin in NHEKs via transfection with podoplanin siRNA inhibited their migration, indicating that podoplanin plays a mandatory role in this process. In addition, down-regulation of podoplanin was correlated with up-regulation of E-cadherin, suggesting that podoplanin-mediated stimulation of keratinocyte migration is associated with a loss of E-cadherin. Both the addition of platelets and treatment with CLEC-2 inhibited the migration of NHEKs. The down-regulation of RhoA activity and the up-regulation of E-cadherin in keratinocytes were also induced by CLEC-2. In conclusion, these results suggest that podoplanin/CLEC-2 signaling regulates keratinocyte migration via modulating E-cadherin expression through RhoA signaling. Altering the regulation of keratinocyte migration by podoplanin might be a novel therapeutic approach to improve wound healing.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · American Journal Of Pathology
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    ABSTRACT: Peripheral neuropathy is a representative complication of dental surgery. Electrical therapy, based on electrical stimulation with periodic alternating intervals (ES-PAI), may promote nerve regeneration after peripheral nerve injury in a non-invasive manner, potentially providing an effective therapy for neuropathy. This study aimed to analyze the molecular mechanisms underlying the nerve recovery stimulated by ES-PAI. In brief, ES-PAI was applied to a neuronal cell line, Neuro2A, at various intensities using the pulse generator apparatus, FREUDE. Cell viability, neurotrophin mRNA expression, and cytokine production were examined using a tetrazolium-based assay, real-time RT-PCR, and ELISA, respectively. Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling was assessed using flow cytometry. It was found that ES-PAI increased the viability of cells and elevated expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3); ESPAI also augmented vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) expression, which was restored by addition of p38 inhibitors. Phosphorylation of p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK-1/2) was augmented by ES-PAI. Hence, ES-PAI may ameliorate peripheral neuropathy by promoting neuronal cell proliferation and production of neurogenic factors by activating p38 and ERK-1/2 pathways.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · European Journal Of Oral Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Osteoblasts play essential roles in bone formation and regeneration, while they have low proliferation potential. Recently we established a procedure to directly convert human fibroblasts into osteoblasts (dOBs). Transduction of Runx2 (R),Osterix (X), Oct3/4 (O) and L-myc (L) genes followed by culturing under osteogenic conditions induced normal human fibroblasts to express osteoblast-specific genes and produce calcified bone matrix both in vitro and in vivo Intriguingly, a combination of only two factors, Oct3/4 and L-myc, significantly induced osteoblast-like phenotype in fibroblasts, but the mechanisms underlying the direct conversion remains to be unveiled. Materials and methods: We examined which Oct family genes and Myc family genes are capable of inducing osteoblast-like phenotypic conversion. Results: As result Oct3/4, Oct6 and Oct9, among other Oct family members, had the capability, while N-myc was the most effective Myc family gene. The Oct9 plus N-myc was the best combination to induce direct conversion of human fibroblasts into osteoblast-like cells. Discussion: The present findings may greatly contribute to the elucidation of the roles of the Oct and Myc proteins in osteoblast direct reprogramming. The results may also lead to establishment of novel regenerative therapy for various bone resorption diseases.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
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    ABSTRACT: Sonoporation can deliver agents to target local organs by systemic administration, while decreasing the associated risk of adverse effects. Sonoporation has been used for a variety of materials and in a variety of organs. Herein, we demonstrated that local sonoporation to the kidney can offer highly efficient transfer of oligonucleotides, which were systemically administrated to the tubular epithelium with high specificity. Ultrasonic wave irradiation to the kidney collapsed the microbubbles and transiently affected the glomerular filtration barrier and increased glomerular permeability. Oligonucleotides were passed through the barrier all at once, and were absorbed throughout the tubular epithelium. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), which plays a central role in renal ischemia reperfusion injury (I/R), was targeted using siRNA with renal sonoporation in a murine model. The reduction of TNFα expression after single gene transfer significantly inhibited the expression of kidney injury markers, suggesting that systemic administration of siRNA under temporary and local sonoporation could be applicable in the clinical setting of ischemic acute kidney injury.Molecular Therapy (2015); doi:10.1038/mt.2015.171.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Molecular Therapy
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    ABSTRACT: Brown adipocytes (BAs) play important roles in body temperature regulation, energy balance, and carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Activities of BAs are remarkably diminished in obese and diabetic patients, providing possibilities of transplanting functional BAs resulting in therapeutic benefit. Here, we show generation of functional BAs by cellular reprogramming procedures. Transduction of the PRDM16 gene into iPSC-derived embryoid bodies induced BA phenotypes (iBAs). Moreover, normal human fibroblasts were directly converted into BAs (dBAs) by C/EBP-β and C-MYC gene transduction. Approximately 90% of the fibroblasts were successfully converted within 12 days. The dBAs were highly active in mitochondrial biogenesis and oxidative metabolism. Mouse dBAs were induced by Prdm16, C/ebp-β, and L-myc genes, and after transplantation, they significantly reduced diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in an UCP1-dependent manner. Thus, highly functional BAs can be generated by cellular reprogramming, suggesting a promising tailor-made cell therapy against metabolic disorders including type 2 diabetes mellitus.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Stem Cell Reports
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    ABSTRACT: Synovial fluid pH is decreased in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA); however, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, we examined the mechanism by which synovial fluid pH is regulated and explore the therapeutic strategy by manipulating this mechanism. The pH and lactate concentration in synovial fluid from 16 RA patients were determined. Cultured synovial fibroblasts (SFs) from the inflamed joints of nine patients with RA (RASFs) were examined for the expression of ion transporters that regulate intracellular and extracellular pH. The ion transporter up-regulated in RASF lines was then suppressed in RASFs by small interfering RNA (siRNA) and the effect of transfection on viability and proliferation was investigated. Finally, we examined the therapeutic effect of electro-transfer of MCT4-specific siRNA into the articular synovium of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mice. Synovial fluid pH correlated inversely with both the patient disease activity score (DAS)-28 CRP and synovial fluid lactate levels. RASFs exhibited up-regulated transcription of monocarboxylate transporter (MCT) 4 mRNA. MCT4 exports intracellular lactate into the extracellular space. RASFs had significantly higher MCT4 protein levels than osteoarthritis synovial fibroblasts. Knockdown of MCT4 induced intrinsic RASF apoptosis, thereby inhibiting their proliferation. Moreover, electro-transfer of MCT4-specific siRNA into the articular synovium of CIA mice significantly reduced the severity of arthritis. RA activity correlated with decreased synovial fluid pH. This may be due to increased MCT4 expression in RASFs. Silencing MCT4 induced apoptosis in RASFs and reduced the severity of CIA, suggesting that MCT4 is a potential therapeutic target for inflammatory arthritis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2015, American College of Rheumatology.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Arthritis and Rheumatology
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    ABSTRACT: Although many reports have been published on the functional roles of periodontal ligament (PDL) cells, the mechanisms involved in the maintenance and homeostasis of PDL have not been determined. We investigated the effects of biomechanical force on growth factor production, phosphorylation of MAPKs, and intracellular transduction pathways for growth factor production in human periodontal ligament (hPDL) cells using MAPK inhibitors. hPDL cells were exposed to mechanical force (6 MPa) using a hydrostatic pressure apparatus. The levels of growth factor mRNA and protein were examined by real-time RT-PCR and ELISA. The phosphorylation of MAPKs was measured using BD™ CBA Flex Set. In addition, MAPKs inhibitors were used to identify specific signal transduction pathways. Application of biomechanical force (equivalent to occlusal force) increased the synthesis of VEGF-A, FGF-2, and NGF. The application of biomechanical force increased the expression levels of phosphorylated ERK and p38, but not of JNK. Furthermore, the levels of VEGF-A and NGF expression were suppressed by ERK or p38 inhibitor. The growth factors induced by biomechanical force may play a role in the mechanisms of homeostasis of PDL.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Odontology
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    ABSTRACT: Osteoblasts produce calcified bone matrix and contribute to bone formation and remodeling. In this study, we established a procedure to directly convert human fibroblasts into osteoblasts by transducing some defined factors and culturing in osteogenic medium. Osteoblast-specific transcription factors, Runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2), and Osterix, in combination with Octamer-binding transcription factor 3/4 (Oct4) and L-Myc (RXOL) transduction, converted ∼80% of the fibroblasts into osteocalcin-producing cells. The directly converted osteoblasts (dOBs) induced by RXOL displayed a similar gene expression profile as normal human osteoblasts and contributed to bone repair after transplantation into immunodeficient mice at artificial bone defect lesions. The dOBs expressed endogenous Runx2 and Osterix, and did not require continuous expression of the exogenous genes to maintain their phenotype. Another combination, Oct4 plus L-Myc (OL), also induced fibroblasts to produce bone matrix, but the OL-transduced cells did not express Osterix and exhibited a more distant gene expression profile to osteoblasts compared with RXOL-transduced cells. These findings strongly suggest successful direct reprogramming of fibroblasts into functional osteoblasts by RXOL, a technology that may provide bone regeneration therapy against bone disorders.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

  • No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Osteoarthritis and Cartilage
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    ABSTRACT: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are transplanted for periodontal tissue regeneration, and the periodontal ligament (PDL) is regenerated using a cultured cell sheet. This cultured cell sheet is prepared using PDL-derived cells, growth factors, and amniotic membrane (AM). Dental pulp (DP)-derived cells can be easily obtained from extracted wisdom teeth, proliferate rapidly, and are less susceptible to bacterial infection than PDL-derived cells. Thus, to prepare a novel cell sheet, DP-derived cells were cultured on AM as a culture substrate for immunohistochemical examination. Wisdom teeth extracted from three adults were cut along the cement-enamel border. DP tissue was collected, minced, and primarily cultured. After three or four passage cultures, DP-derived cells were cultured on AM, followed by hematoxylin-eosin (H-E) and immunofluorescence staining. DP-derived cells cultured on AM formed a layered structure. Cells positive for vimentin, Ki-67, ZO-1, desmoplakin, CD29, 44, 105 or 146, STRO-1, collagen IV or VII or laminin 5 or α5 chain were localized. DP-derived cells proliferated on AM, while retaining the properties of DP, which allowed the cultured cell sheet to be prepared. In addition, the cultured cell sheet contained MSC, which suggests its potential application in periodontal tissue regeneration.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Bio-medical materials and engineering
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    ABSTRACT: This study was designed to evaluate femoral perfusion after pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) stimulation in a steroid-induced osteonecrosis rabbit model by dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI). Steroid-induced osteonecrosis was produced by single intramuscular injection of methylprednisolone in 15 rabbits. Eight rabbits underwent PEMF stimulation (PEMF group) and seven did not (control group). DCE-MRI was performed before PEMF stimulation, immediately before steroid administration, and 1, 5, 10, and 14 days after steroid administration. Regions of interest were set in the bilateral proximal femora. Enhancement ratio (ER), initial slope (IS), and area under the curve (AUC) were analyzed. ER, IS, and AUC in the control group significantly decreased after steroid administration compared with before administration (P < 0.05). In PEMF group, IS significantly decreased; however, ER and AUC showed no significant differences after steroid administration compared with before. ER and IS in PEMF group were higher than in control group until 10th day, and AUC was higher until 5th day after steroid administration (P < 0.05). PEMF stimulation restrains the decrease in blood flow after steroid administration. Bioelectromagnetics. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Bioelectromagnetics
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    ABSTRACT: Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-2α is considered to play a major role in the progression of osteoarthritis. Recently, it was reported that pressure amplitude influences HIF-2α expression in murine endothelial cells. We examined whether hydrostatic pressure is involved in expression of HIF-2α in articular chondrocytes. Chondrocytes were cultured and stimulated by inflammation or hydrostatic pressure of 0, 5, 10, or 50 MPa. After stimulation, heat shock protein (HSP) 70, HIF-2α, nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-13, MMP-3, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene expression were evaluated. The levels of all gene expression were increased by inflammatory stress. When chondrocytes were exposed to a hydrostatic pressure of 5 MPa, HIF-2α, MMP-13, and MMP-3 gene expression increased significantly although those of HSP70 and NF-κB were not significantly different from the control group. In contrast, HIF-2α gene expression did not increase under a hydrostatic pressure of 50 MPa although HSP70 and NF-κB expression increased significantly compared to control. We considered that hydrostatic pressure of 5 MPa could regulate HIF-2α independent of NF-κB, because the level of HIF-2α gene expression increased significantly without upregulation of NF-κB expression at 5 MPa. Hydrostatic pressure may influence cartilage degeneration, inducing MMP-13 and MMP-3 expression through HIF-2α.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2015 · International Journal of Molecular Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Bone destruction at inflamed joints is an important complication associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Interleukin-10 (IL-10) may suppress not only inflammation but also induction of osteoclasts that play key roles in the bone destruction. If IL-10-producing osteoblast-like cells are induced from patient somatic cells and transplanted back into the destructive bone lesion, such therapy may promote bone remodeling by the cooperative effects of IL-10 and osteoblasts. We transduced mouse fibroblasts with genes for IL-10 and Runx2 that is a crucial transcription factor for osteoblast differentiation. The IL-10-producing induced osteoblast-like cells (IL-10-iOBs) strongly expressed osteoblast-specific genes and massively produced bone matrix that were mineralized by calcium phosphate in vitro and in vivo. Culture supernatant of IL-10-iOBs significantly suppressed induction of osteoclast from RANKL-stimulated Raw264.7 cells as well as LPS-induced production of inflammatory cytokine by macrophages. The IL-10-iOBs may be applicable to novel cell-based therapy against bone destruction associated with RA. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
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    ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi) enables potent and specific gene silencing, potentially offering useful means for treatment of cancers. However, a safe and efficient drug delivery system (DDS) that is appropriate for intra-tumor delivery of short interfering RNA (siRNA) or short hairpin RNA (shRNA) has rarely been established, hindering clinical application of RNAi technology to cancer therapy. We have devised hydrogel polymer nanoparticles, or nanogel, and shown its validity as a novel DDS for various molecules. Here we examined the potential of self-assembled nanogel of cholesterol-bearing cycloamylose with spermine group (CH-CA-Spe) to deliver vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-specific short interfering RNA (siVEGF) into tumor cells. The siVEGF/nanogel complex was engulfed by renal cell carcinoma (RCC) cells through the endocytotic pathway, resulting in efficient knockdown of VEGF. Intra-tumor injections of the complex significantly suppressed neovascularization and growth of RCC in mice. The treatment also inhibited induction of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), while it decreased interleukin-17A (IL-17A) production. Therefore, the CHP-CA-Spe nanogel may be a feasible DDS for intra-tumor delivery of therapeutic siRNA. The results also suggest that local suppression of VEGF may have a positive impact on systemic immune responses against malignancies.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Cancer Science

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
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    ABSTRACT: We assessed whether heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) is involved in hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α)-dependent anabolic pathways in articular chondrocytes under hypoxic conditions. Primary rabbit chondrocytes were cultured under normoxia (20% oxygen condition) or hypoxia (1% oxygen condition). Alternatively, cells cultured under normoxia were treated with CoCl2, which induces HIF-1α, to simulate hypoxia, or transfected with siRNAs targeting HIF-1α (si-HIF-1α) and HSP70 (si-HSP70) under hypoxia. HSP70 expression was enhanced by the increased expression of HIF-1α under hypoxia or simulated hypoxia, but not in the presence of si-HIF-1α. Hypoxia-induced overexpression of ECM genes was significantly suppressed by si-HIF-1α or si-HSP70. Cell viability positively correlated with hypoxia, but transfection with si-HIF-1α or si-HSP70 abrogated the chondroprotective effects of hypoxia. Although LDH release from sodium nitroprusside-treated cells and the proportion of TUNEL positive cells were decreased under hypoxia, transfection with si-HIF-1α or si-HSP70 almost completely blocked these effects. These findings indicated that HIF-1α-induced HSP70 overexpression increased the expression levels of ECM genes and cell viability, and protected chondrocytes from apoptosis. HIF-1α may regulate the anabolic effects of chondrocytes under hypoxic conditions by regulating HSP70 expression. © 2014 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res
    No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Journal of Orthopaedic Research
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    ABSTRACT: Background Recent reports demonstrated that somatic cells such as fibroblasts can be directly reprogrammed into other cell types including neurons and cardiomyocytes by introducing critical transcription factors involved in the differentiation of the corresponding cell lineages1,2. Such procedures in combination with co-transduction of a particular gene may allow creation of the cells with desired functions. If patient specific osteoblasts can be induced and engineered to produce IL-10, autologous transplantation of such cells may suppress inflammation and bone destruction in rheumatoid arthritis by modulating immune responses and osteoclast development. Objectives To generate IL-10-producing mouse osteoblast-like cells from fibroblasts, and estimate potential effect of the cell supernatants on osteoclast differentiation. Methods Various combinations of transcription factors were transduced into mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) with retroviral vectors and the efficiency of conversion into osteoblast-like cells were estimated by alizarine red S staining. IL-10 gene was also transduced to the cells that received the most effective combination of the transcription factors, and resultant cells were characterized by qRT-PCR, alkaline phosphatase staining, and alizarine red S staining. IL-10 production was measured by qRT-PCR and ELISA. The supernatant was added to a mouse macrophage cell line Raw264.7 cells that were induced to differentiate into osteoclasts by an addition of RANKL. Results MEFs were successfully induced to massively produce bone matrix that were mineralized by calcium phosphate. Co-transduction of the IL-10 gene by means of a retrovirus vector resulted in establishment of osteoblasts that produced IL-10 at a significant level. The culture supernatant of the cells significantly suppressed osteoclast differentiation from Raw264.7 cells. Conclusions IL-10-secreting osteoblasts were successfully generated from fibroblasts by direct reprogramming procedures. The cells may be useful in novel cell-based therapy against RA in the future. References Disclosure of Interest None declared DOI 10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-eular.2247
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: Gene transfer technique has various applications, ranging from cellular biology to medical treatments for diseases. Although nonviral vectors, such as episomal vectors, have been developed, it is necessary to improve their gene transfer efficacy. Therefore, we attempted to develop a highly efficient gene delivery system combining an episomal vector with magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs). In comparison with the conventional method using transfection reagents, polyethylenimine-coated MNPs introduced episomal vectors more efficiently under a magnetic field and could express the gene in mammalian cells with higher efficiency and for longer periods. This novel in vitro separation method of gene-introduced cells utilizing the magnetic property of MNPs significantly facilitated the separation of cells of interest. Transplanted cells in vivo were detected using magnetic resonance. These results suggest that MNPs play multifunctional roles in ex vivo gene transfer, such as improvement of gene transfer efficacy, separation of cells, and detection of transplanted cells. From the clinical editor: This study convincingly demonstrates enhanced efficiency of gene transfer via magnetic nanoparticles. The method also enables magnetic sorting of cells positive for the transferred gene, and in vivo monitoring of the process with MRI.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Nanomedicine: nanotechnology, biology, and medicine

Publication Stats

3k Citations
529.99 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1995-2015
    • Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine
      • • Department of Immunology
      • • Department of Microbiology
      • • Graduate School of Medical Science
      Kioto, Kyōto, Japan
  • 2005
    • Louis Pasteur Center for Medical Research
      Kioto, Kyōto, Japan
  • 1991-1995
    • Kyoto University
      • • Department of Pharmacology
      • • Primate Research Institute
      Kioto, Kyōto, Japan