Bone regeneration in a rat cranial defect with delivery of PEI-condensed plasmid DNA encoding for bone morphogenetic protein-4 (BMP-4)

Date Published:

2005 Mar


Gene therapy approaches to bone tissue engineering have been widely explored. While localized delivery of plasmid DNA encoding for osteogenic factors is attractive for promoting bone regeneration, the low transfection efficiency inherent with plasmid delivery may limit this approach. We hypothesized that this limitation could be overcome by condensing plasmid DNA with nonviral vectors such as poly(ethylenimine) (PEI), and delivering the plasmid DNA in a sustained and localized manner from poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) scaffolds. To address this possibility, scaffolds delivering plasmid DNA encoding for bone morphogenetic protein-4 (BMP-4) were implanted into a cranial critical-sized defect for time periods up to 15 weeks. The control conditions included no scaffold (defect left empty), blank scaffolds (no delivered DNA), and scaffolds encapsulating plasmid DNA (non-condensed). Histological and microcomputed tomography analysis of the defect sites over time demonstrated that bone regeneration was significant at the defect edges and within the defect site when scaffolds encapsulating condensed DNA were placed in the defect. In contrast, bone formation was mainly confined to the defect edges within scaffolds encapsulating plasmid DNA, and when blank scaffolds were used to fill the defect. Histomorphometric analysis revealed a significant increase in total bone formation (at least 4.5-fold) within scaffolds incorporating condensed DNA, relative to blank scaffolds and scaffolds incorporating uncondensed DNA at each time point. In addition, there was a significant increase both in osteoid and mineralized tissue density within scaffolds incorporating condensed DNA, when compared with blank scaffolds and scaffolds incorporating uncondensed DNA, suggesting that delivery of condensed DNA led to more complete mineralized tissue regeneration within the defect area. This study demonstrated that the scaffold delivery system encapsulating PEI-condensed DNA encoding for BMP-4 was capable of enhancing bone formation and may find applications in other tissue types.
Last updated on 09/29/2017