Sustained delivery of proangiogenic microRNA-132 by nanoparticle transfection improves endothelial cell transplantation.
Transplantation of endothelial cells (ECs) for therapeutic vascularization or tissue engineering is a promising method for increasing tissue perfusion. Here, we report on a new approach for enhanced EC transplantation using targeted nanoparticle transfection to deliver proangiogenic microRNA-132 (miR-132) to cultured ECs before their transplantation, thereby sensitizing cells to the effects of endogenous growth factors. We synthesized biodegradable PLGA polymer nanoparticles (NPs) that were loaded with miR-132 and coated with cyclic RGD (cRGD) peptides that target integrin ?v?3 expressed on cultured human umbilical vein ECs (HUVECs), increasing NP uptake through clathrin-coated pits. Unlike previously reported NPs for miR delivery, these NPs slowly release RNA for several weeks. The endocytosed NPs remain in clathrin-coated vesicles from which they mediate intracellular delivery of siRNA or miRNA. Transfection of HUVECs with miR-132 enhances growth factor-induced proliferation and migration in 2D culture, producing a 1.8- and 5-fold increase, respectively. However, while the effects of conventional transfection were short-lived, NP transfection produced protein knockdown and biological effects that were significantly longer in duration (?6 d). Transfection of HUVECs with miR-132 NP resulted in a 2-fold increase in the number of microvessels per square millimeter compared to lipid after transplantation into immunodeficient mice and led to a higher number of mural cell-invested vessels than control transfection. These data suggest that sustained delivery of miR-132 encapsulated in a targeted biodegradable polymer NP is a safe and efficient strategy to improve EC transplantation and vascularization.-Devalliere, J., Chang, W. G., Andrejecsk, J. W., Abrahimi, P., Cheng, C. J., Jane-wit, D., Saltzman, W. M., Pober, J. S. Sustained delivery of proangiogenic microRNA-132 by nanoparticle transfection improves endothelial cell transplantation.