Liposome-mediated NGF gene transfection following neuronal injury: Potential therapeutic applications

L. L. Zou, L. Huang, R. L. Hayes, C. Black, Y. H. Qiu, J. R. Perez-Polo, Weidong Le, G. L. Clifton, K. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


We have systematically investigated the therapeutic potential of cationic liposome-mediated neurotrophic gene transfer for treatment of CNS injury. Following determination of optimal transfection conditions, we examined the effects of dimethylaminoethane-carbamoyl-cholesterol (DC-Chol) liposome-mediated NGF cDNA transfection in injured and uninjured primary septo-hippocampal cell cultures and rat brains. In in vitro studies, we detected an increase of NGF mRNA in cultures 1 day after transfection. Subsequent ELISA and PC12 cell biological assays confirmed that cultured cells secreted soluble active NGF into the media from day 2 after gene transfection. Further experiments showed that such NGF gene transfection reduced the loss of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity in cultures following calcium-dependent depolarization injury. In in vivo studies, following intraventricular injections of NGF cDNA complexed with DC-Chol liposomes, ELISA detected nine- to 12-fold increases of NGF in rat CSF. Further studies showed that liposome/NGF cDNA complexes could attenuate the loss of cholinergic neuronal immunostaining in the rat septum after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Since deficits in cholinergic neurotransmission are a major consequence of TBI, our studies demonstrate for the first time that DC-Chol liposome-mediated NGF gene transfection may have therapeutic potential for treatment of brain injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)994-1005
Number of pages12
JournalGene Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1999


  • ChAT
  • CNS
  • Gene therapy
  • Liposomes
  • Neuronal injury
  • NGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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