Mechanistic profiling of the release kinetics of siRNA from lipidoid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles in vitro and in vivo after pulmonary administration


Understanding the release kinetics of siRNA from nanocarriers, their cellular uptake, their in vivo biodistribution and pharmacokinetics is a fundamental prerequisite for efficient optimisation of the design of nanocarriers for siRNA-based therapeutics. Thus, we investigated the influence of composition on the siRNA release from lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles (LPNs) consisting of cationic lipidoid 5 (L-5) and poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) intended for pulmonary administration. An array of siRNA-loaded LPNs was prepared by systematic variation of:(i) the L-5 content (10-20%, w/w), and (ii) the L-5:siRNA ratio (10,1-30:1, w/w). For comparative purposes, L-5-based lipoplexes, L-5-based stable nucleic acid lipid nanoparticles (SNALPs). and dioleoyl-trimethylammoniumpropane (DOTAP)-modified LPNs loaded with siRNA were also prepared. Release studies in buffer and lung surfactant-containing medium showed that siRNA release is dependent on the presence of both surfactant and heparin (a displacing agent) in the release medium, since these interact with the lipid shell structure thereby facilitating decomplexation of L-5 and siRNA, as evident from the retarded siRNA release when the L-5 content and the L-5:siRNA ratio were increased. This confirms the hypothesis that siRNA loaded in LPNs is predominantly present as complexes with the cationic lipid and primarily is located near the particle surface. Cellular uptake and tolerability studies in the human macrophage cell line THP-1 and the type I-like human alveolar epithelial cell line hAELVi, which together represents a monolayer-based barrier model of lung epithelium, indicated that uptake of LPNs was much higher in THP-1 cells in agreement with their primary clearance role. In vivo biodistributions of formulations loaded with Alexa Fluor (R) 750-labelled siRNA after pulmonary administration in mice were compared by using quantitative fluorescence imaging tomography. The L-5-modified LPNs, SNALPs and DOTAP-modified LPNs displayed significantly increased lung retention of siRNA as compared to L-5-based lipoplexes, which had a biodistribution profile comparable to that of non-loaded siRNA, for which > 50% of the siRNA dose permeated the air-blood barrier within 6 h and subsequently was excreted via the kidneys. Hence, the enhanced lung retention upon pulmonary administration of siRNA-loaded LPNs represents a promising characteristic that can be used to control the delivery of the siRNA cargo to lung tissue for local management of disease

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This paper was published in Ghent University Academic Bibliography.

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