Utilizing targeted gene therapy with nanoparticles binding alpha v Beta 3 for imaging and treating choroidal Neovascularization

Hani Salehi-Had, Mi In Roh, Andrea Giani, Toshio Hisatomi, Shintaro Nakao, Ivana K. Kim, Evangelos S. Gragoudas, Demetrios Vavvas, Samira Guccione, Joan W. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The integrin αvβ3 is differentially expressed on neovascular endothelial cells. We investigated whether a novel intravenously injectable αvβ3 integrin-ligand coupled nanoparticle (NP) can target choroidal neovascular membranes (CNV) for imaging and targeted gene therapy. Methods: CNV lesions were induced in rats using laser photocoagulation. The utility of NP for in vivo imaging and gene delivery was evaluated by coupling the NP with a green fluorescing protein plasmid (NP-GFPg). Rhodamine labeling (Rd-NP) was used to localize NP in choroidal flatmounts. Rd-NP-GFPg particles were injected intravenously on weeks 1, 2, or 3. In the treatment arm, rats received NP containing a dominant negative Raf mutant gene (NP-ATPμ-Raf) on days 1, 3, and 5. The change in CNV size and leakage, and TUNEL positive cells were quantified. Results: GFP plasmid expression was seen in vivo up to 3 days after injection of Rd-NP-GFPg. Choroidal flatmounts confirmed the localization of the NP and the expression of GFP plasmid in the CNV. Treating the CNV with NP-ATPμ-Raf decreased the CNV size by 42% (P<0.001). OCT analysis revealed that the reduction of CNV size started on day 5 and reached statistical significance by day 7. Fluorescein angiography grading showed significantly less leakage in the treated CNV (P<0.001). There were significantly more apoptotic (TUNEL-positive) nuclei in the treated CNV. Conclusion: Systemic administration of αvβ3 targeted NP can be used to label the abnormal blood vessels of CNV for imaging. Targeted gene delivery with NP-ATPμ-Raf leads to a reduction in size and leakage of the CNV by induction of apoptosis in the CNV.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere18864
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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