Suppression of Peritoneal Fibrosis by Sonoporation of Hepatocyte Growth Factor Gene-Encoding Plasmid DNA in Mice

Koyo Nishimura, Koki Ogawa, Maho Kawaguchi, Shintaro Fumoto, Hidefumi Mukai, Shigeru Kawakami
Pharmaceutics 2021 January 18, 13 (1)
Gene therapy is expected to be used for the treatment of peritoneal fibrosis, which is a serious problem associated with long-term peritoneal dialysis. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a well-known anti-fibrotic gene. We developed an ultrasound and nanobubble-mediated (sonoporation) gene transfection system, which selectively targets peritoneal tissues. Thus, we attempted to treat peritoneal fibrosis by sonoporation-based human HGF (hHGF) gene transfection in mice. To prepare a model of peritoneal fibrosis, mice were intraperitoneally injected with chlorhexidine digluconate. We evaluated the preventive and curative effects of sonoporation-based hHGF transfection by analyzing the following factors: hydroxyproline level, peritoneum thickness, and the peritoneal equilibration test. The transgene expression characteristics of sonoporation were also evaluated using multicolor deep imaging. In early-stage fibrosis in mice, transgene expression by sonoporation was observed in the submesothelial layer. Sonoporation-based hHGF transfection showed not only a preventive effect but also a curative effect for early-stage peritoneal fibrosis. Sonoporation-based hHGF transfection may be suitable for the treatment of peritoneal fibrosis regarding the transfection characteristics of transgene expression in the peritoneum under fibrosis.

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