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      Development of Efficient Transient Transfection Systems for Introducing Antisense Oligonucleotides into Human Epithelial Skin Cells

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          Systemic treatment with antisense oligonucleotides is confounded by the dual problems of potential cytotoxicity of antisense oligonucleotides and carrier molecules such as cationic lipids. Treatment of pathologic conditions affecting the skin may avoid these problems to a large degree due to local application. The success of antisense strategies has been limited by the poor uptake of the transfection reagent and inadequate intracellular compartmentalization. Human skin epithelial cells, therefore, are attractive experimental tools for testing both in vitro and in vivo antisense therapies. In the present study, we determined commercially available liposomes which reproducibly induced a nontoxic increase of oligonucleotide uptake in cultured SZ95 sebocytes and keratinocytes. The final protocol for SZ95 sebocytes was a 4-hour incubation with DOTAP in a 2:1 (w/w) lipid/oligonucleotide ratio in serum-free medium. The fluorescein-labeled (ATCG)<sub>5</sub> random oligonucleotide molecules were detected within the nucleus. The optimum transfection system for primary keratinocytes was poly- L-ornithine (12 µg/ml) in a medium without bovine pituitary extract over 4 hours. The uptake of the oligonucleotide increased in the presence of the polycation and oligonucleotide molecules were localized in the cytoplasm of keratinocytes. Oligonucleotide transfection with the help of cationic lipids did not affect the expression of androgen receptor and of the house-keeping gene β-actin. Thus, cationic lipids are useful for delivery of antisense oligonucleotides into skin cells in vitro and may be used for topical application on animal and human skin.

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          Establishment and characterization of an immortalized human sebaceous gland cell line (SZ95).

          Human facial sebaceous gland cells were transfected with a PBR-322-based plasmid containing the coding region for the Simian virus-40 large T antigen. The resulting proliferating cell cultures have been passaged over 50 times to date, have been cloned, and show no signs of senescence after 4&DF;1 2 y in vitro, whereas normal human sebocytes can only be grown for three to six passages. The immortalized transfected cells, termed SZ95, expressed the Simian virus-40 large T antigen and presented an hyper-diploid-aneuploid karyotype with a modal chromosome number of 64.5. The SZ95 cell line exhibited epithelial, polymorphous characteristics with different cell sizes of up to 3.25-fold during proliferation and 6-fold at confluence, showing numerous cytoplasmic lipid droplets. The cells showed large cytoplasm profiles with abundant organelles, including vacuoles and myelin figures which indicated lipid synthesis. Lack of or only few desmosomal areas were observed. SZ95 cells expressed molecules typically associated with human sebocytes, such as keratins 7, 13, and 19, and several proteins of the polymorphous epithelial mucin family. Functional studies revealed synthesis of the sebaceous lipids squalene and wax esters as well as of triglycerides and free fatty acids, even after 25-40 passages; active lipid secretion; population doubling times of 52.4 +/- 1.6 h; reduced growth but maintenance of lipid synthesis under serum-free conditions; and retrieval of cell proliferation after addition of 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone. Retinoids significantly inhibited proliferation of certain SZ95 cell clones in the expected magnitude 13-cis-retinoic acid > all-trans-retinoic acid > > acitretin. Thus SZ95 is an immortalized human sebaceous gland cell line that shows the morphologic, phenotypic and functional characteristics of normal human sebocytes.
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            A serum-resistant cytofectin for cellular delivery of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides and plasmid DNA.

            Development of antisense technology has focused in part on creating improved methods for delivering oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) to cells. In this report, we describe a cationic lipid that, when formulated with the fusogenic lipid dioleoylphosphatidyliethanolamine, greatly improves the cellular uptake properties of antisense ODNs, as well as plasmid DNA. This lipid formulation, termed GS 2888 cytofectin, (i) efficiently transfects ODNs and plasmids into many cell types in the presence or absence of 10% serum in the medium, (ii) uses a 4- to 10-fold lower concentration of the agent as compared to the commercially available Lipofectin liposome, and (iii) is > or = 20-fold more effective at eliciting antisense effects in the presence of serum when compared to Lipofectin. Here we show antisense effects using GS 2888 cytofectin together with C-5 propynyl pyrimidine phosphorothioate ODNs in which we achieve inhibition of gene expression using low nanomolar concentrations of ODN. This agent expands the utility of antisense ODNs for their use in understanding gene function and offers the potential for its use in DNA delivery applications in vivo.
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              Delivering information-rich drugs -prospects and challenges


                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                28 September 2001
                : 54
                : 5-6
                : 306-311
                Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center Benjamin Franklin, The Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany
                53277 Horm Res 2000;54:306–311
                © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 1, References: 16, Pages: 6


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