Electroporation-Mediated Gene Delivery to the Lungs

  • Jennifer L. Young
  • Michael S. Barravecchia
  • David A. Dean
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1121)


Electroporation is a safe, efficient, and inexpensive method to transfer naked plasmid DNA into various tissues. For electroporation-mediated gene transfer to the mouse lung, a plasmid solution is delivered to the lungs via the trachea. Immediately after plasmid delivery, eight square wave pulses are delivered by two pre-gelled electrodes placed on each side of the chest. An optimal field strength in mice is 200 V/cm, with a pulse duration of 10 ms each and a 1 s interval between pulses. High level gene expression can be achieved within 24 h in all cell types in the lung with very little inflammation and no apparent trauma.

Key words

Electroporation Nonviral gene therapy Plasmid Lungs Whole lung tissue extraction Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) Intubation 


  1. 1.
    Somiari S, Glasspool-Malone J, Drabick JJ et al (2000) Theory and in vivo application of electroporative gene delivery. Mol Ther 2: 178–187PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Heller L, Jaroszeski MJ, Coppola D, Pottinger C, Gilbert R, Heller R (2000) Electrically mediated plasmid DNA delivery to hepatocellular carcinomas in vivo. Gene Ther 7:826–829PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cemazar M, Golzio M, Sersa G et al (2009) Control by pulse parameters of DNA electrotransfer into solid tumors in mice. Gene Ther 16:635–644PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wells JM, Li LH, Sen A, Jahreis GP, Hui SW (2000) Electroporation-enhanced gene delivery in mammary tumors. Gene Ther 7: 541–547PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lin F, Shen X, Kichaev G et al (2012) Optimization of electroporation-enhanced intradermal delivery of DNA vaccine using a minimally invasive surface device. Hum Gene Ther Methods 23:157–168PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dean DA (2003) Electroporation of the vasculature and the lung. DNA Cell Biol 22:797–806PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    West J, Rodman DM (2001) Gene therapy for pulmonary diseases. Chest 119:613–617PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Weiss D (2002) Delivery of gene transfer vectors to lung: obstacles and the role of adjunct techniques for airway administration. Mol Ther 6:148–152PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dean DA, Machado-Aranda D, Blair-Parks K, Yeldandi AV, Young JL (2003) Electroporation as a method for high-level non-viral gene transfer to the lung. Gene Ther 10:1608–1615PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Machado-Aranda D, Adir Y, Young JL et al (2005) Gene transfer of the na+, k+-atpase b1 subunit using electroporation increases lung liquid clearance in rats. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 171:204–211PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jones MR, Simms BT, Lupa MM, Kogan MS, Mizgerd JP (2005) Lung nf-kappab activation and neutrophil recruitment require il-1 and tnf receptor signaling during pneumococcal pneumonia. J Immunol 175:7530–7535PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gazdhar A, Bilici M, Pierog J et al (2006) In vivo electroporation and ubiquitin promoter–a protocol for sustained gene expression in the lung. J Gene Med 8:910–918PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Mutlu GM, Machado-Aranda D, Norton JE et al (2007) Electroporation-mediated gene transfer of the na+, k+-atpase rescues endotoxin-induced lung injury. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 176:582–590PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Zhou R, Norton JE, Zhang N, Dean DA (2007) Electroporation-mediated transfer of plasmids to the lung results in reduced tlr9 signaling and inflammation. Gene Ther 14: 775–780PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Pringle IA, McLachlan G, Collie DD et al (2007) Electroporation enhances reporter gene expression following delivery of naked plasmid DNA to the lung. J Gene Med 9: 369–380PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gazdhar A, Fachinger P, van Leer C et al (2007) Gene transfer of hepatocyte growth factor by electroporation reduces bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 292:L529–L536PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gazdhar A, Temuri A, Knudsen L et al (2013) Targeted gene transfer of hepatocyte growth factor to alveolar type ii epithelial cells reduces lung fibrosis in rats. Hum Gene Ther 24:105–116PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Leuenberger A, Gazdhar A, Herrmann G, Ochs M, Geiser T, Knudsen L (2012) Cell-specific expression of human hgf by alveolar type ii cells induces remodeling of septal wall tissue in the lung: a morphometric study. J Appl Physiol 113:799–807PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    O’Reilly MA, Yee M, Buczynski BW et al (2012) Neonatal oxygen increases sensitivity to influenza a virus infection in adult mice by suppressing epithelial expression of ear1. Am J Pathol 181:441–451PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Degiulio JV, Kaufman CD, Dean DA (2010) The sp-c promoter facilitates alveolar type ii epithelial cell-specific plasmid nuclear import and gene expression. Gene Ther 17: 541–549PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer L. Young
    • 1
  • Michael S. Barravecchia
    • 1
  • David A. Dean
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Neonatology, Department of PediatricsSchool of Medicine and Dentistry, University of RochesterRochesterUSA

Personalised recommendations