Hydrophilic poly (DL-lactide-co-glycolide) microspheres for the delivery of DNA to human-derived macrophages and dendritic cells
Kiama, Stephen Gitahi
Merkle, Hans Peter
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Biodegradable poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) microspheres have a proven track record for drug delivery and are suggested to be ideal carrier systems to target therapeutics into phagocytic cells such as macrophages (MΦs) and dendritic cells (DCs). Microspheres prepared by spray-drying from different PLGA-type polymers were evaluated regarding their effect on phagocytosis, intracellular degradation and viability of human-derived macrophages MΦs and DCs. Even the microspheres prepared from the most hydrophilic polymer RG502H, were efficiently phagocytosed by primary human MΦs and DCs. Interestingly, uptake of PLGA microspheres by DCs as potent immune modulator cells was almost as efficient as uptake by the highly phagocytic MΦs. Phagocytosed microspheres remained inside the cells until decay with none of the microsphere preparations induced significant apoptosis or necrotic cell death. Acidic pH and the phagosomal environment inside the cells enhanced microsphere decay and release of encapsulated material. Degradation of microspheres consisting of the most hydrophilic PLGA polymer RG502H occurred in a reasonable time frame of less than 2 weeks ensuring the release of encapsulated drug during the life span of the cells. To explore important technical and biological aspects of DNA microencapsulation, we have studied DNA loading and in vitro DNA release of microspheres from different PLGA type polymers. Hydrophobicity and molecular weight of the PLGA polymers had profound influence on both the encapsulation efficiency of DNA and its release kinetics in vitro: the hydrophilic polymers showed higher encapsulation efficiency and faster release of intact DNA compared to the hydrophobic ones. These results suggest that microspheres from the PLGA polymer RG502H have improved characteristics for DNA delivery to human MΦs and DCs.