Silencing of tumor necrosis factor receptor-1 in human lung microvascular endothelial cells using particle platforms for siRNA delivery

Litao Bai, Helen A. Andersson, Kellie I. McConnell, Diana L. Chan, Michael Hernandez, Javier Gonzalez, Xuewu Liu, Saverio La Francesca, Jason H. Sakamoto, Rita E. Serda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Acute lung injury (ALI) and its most severe manifestation, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), is a clinical syndrome defined by acute hypoxemic respiratory failure and bilateral pulmonary infiltrates consistent with edema. In-hospital mortality is 38.5% for AL, and 41.1% for ARDS. Activation of alveolar macrophages in the donor lung causes the release of pro-inflammatory chemokines and cytokines, such as TNF-α. To determine the relevance of TNF-α in disrupting bronchial endothelial cell function, we stimulated human THP-1 macrophages with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and used the resulting cytokine-supplemented media to disrupt normal endothelial cell functions. Endothelial tube formation was disrupted in the presence of LPS-activated THP- 1 conditioned media, with reversal of the effect occurring in the presence of 0.1μg/ml Enbrel, indicating that TNF-α was the major serum component inhibiting endothelial tube formation. To facilitate lung conditioning, we tested liposomal and porous silicon (pSi) delivery systems for their ability to selectively silence TNFR1 using siRNA technology. Of the three types of liposomes tested, only cationic liposomes had substantial endothelial uptake, with human cells taking up 10-fold more liposomes than their pig counterparts; however, non-specific cellular activation prohibited their use as immunosuppressive agents. On the other hand, pSi microparticles enabled the accumulation of large amounts of siRNA in endothelial cells compared to standard transfection with Lipofectamine® LTX, in the absence of non-specific activation of endothelia. Silencing of TNFR1 decreased TNF-α mediated inhibition of endothelial tube formation, as well as TNF-α-induced upregulation of ICAM-1, VCAM, and E-selection in human lung microvascular endothelial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA013
Pages (from-to)1531-1539
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Drug Targets
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2015


  • Endothelial
  • Liposome
  • Lung
  • Porous silicon
  • SiRNA
  • Tumor necrosis factor receptor-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine


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