Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 770–781 | Cite as

Oligonucleotide-Polyethylenimine Complexes Targeting Retinal Cells: Structural Analysis and Application to Anti-TGFβ-2 Therapy

  • Ana L. Gomes dos Santos
  • Amélie Bochot
  • Nicolas Tsapis
  • Franck Artzner
  • Riad Antoine Bejjani
  • Brigitte Thillaye-Goldenberg
  • Yvonne de Kozak
  • Elias Fattal
  • Francine Behar-Cohen
Research Paper


The aim of this study was to characterize oligonucleotide–polyethylenimine (ODN/PEI) complex preparation for potential transfection of retinal cells in vitro and in vivo.


The effect of medium preparation [HEPES-buffered saline (HBS), water] on particle size and morphology was evaluated. Cultured Lewis rat retinal Müller glial (RMG) cells were transfected using fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)–ODN/PEI complexes specifically directed at transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ)-2. Efficacy of transfection was evaluated using confocal microscopy, and regulation of gene expression was assayed using quantitative real-time RT-PCR and ELISA assay. One, 24, and 72 h after injection of FITC–ODN/PEI complexes into the vitreous of rat eyes, their distribution was analyzed on eye sections.


Complexes prepared in HBS were smaller than complexes prepared in pure water and presented a core–shell structure. These particles showed a high cellular internalization efficacy, along with a significant and specific down-regulation of TGFβ-2 expression and production in RMG cells, correlating with specific inhibition of cell growth at 72 h. In vivo, complexes efficiently transfect retinal cells and follow a transretinal migration at 24 h. After 72 h, ODN seems to preferentially target RMG cells without inducing any detectable toxicity.


Specific down-regulation of TGFβ-2 expression using ODN/PEI complexes may have potential interest for the treatment of retinal diseases associated with glial proliferation.

Key Words

antisense oligonucleotides polyethylenimine retinal Müller glial cells TGFβ-2 



We gratefully acknowledge Dr. C. Deloménie from Plate-forme Transcriptome (INSERM IFR-75 ISIT), Dr. D. Jaillard (UMR CNRS 8080, CCME, Université Paris-Sud), Dr. H. Alphandary (UMR CNRS 8612), Dr. F. Garnier (Ecole Centrale Paris), G. Frebourg. and Dr. J.-P. Lechaire (UMR CNRS 7622, Université Pierre et Marie Curie) for their technical assistance. Ana L. G. Santos was supported by a fellowship from Fundação Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior-CAPES (Brazil). We also acknowledge the “Fondation pour l'Avenir” and EviGenoRet LSHG-CT-2005-512036 for funding of this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana L. Gomes dos Santos
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Amélie Bochot
    • 2
  • Nicolas Tsapis
    • 2
  • Franck Artzner
    • 4
  • Riad Antoine Bejjani
    • 1
  • Brigitte Thillaye-Goldenberg
    • 1
  • Yvonne de Kozak
    • 1
  • Elias Fattal
    • 2
  • Francine Behar-Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.INSERM U 598ParisFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Physico-Chimie, Pharmacotechnie, BiopharmacieUMR CNRS 8612Châtenay-MalabryFrance
  3. 3.Departamento de Ciencias FarmaceuticasUniversidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC)FlorianopolisBrazil
  4. 4.Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Condensée, Unité Mixte de Recherche 6626Université de Rennes 1RennesFrance

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