Author(s): Cui Z, Hsu CH, Mumper RJ
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Abstract Previously, we reported on a cationic nanoparticle-based DNA vaccine delivery system engineered from warm oil-in-water microemulsion precursors. In these present studies, the feasibility of lyophilizing the nanoparticles and their thermal properties were investigated. Also, the binding and uptake of the nanoparticles by a macrophage cell line were studied. The nanoparticles (prior to pDNA coating) were freeze-dried with lactose or sucrose as cryoprotectants. The stability of lyophilized nanoparticles at room temperature was monitored and compared to that of the aqueous nanoparticle suspension. The thermal properties of the nanoparticles were investigated using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The nanoparticles, coated or uncoated with mannan as a ligand, were incubated with a mannose receptor positive (MR+) mouse macrophage cell line (J774E), at either 4 degrees C or 37 degrees C to study the binding and uptake of the nanoparticles by the cells. It was found that lactose or sucrose (1-5\%, w/v) was required for successful lyophilization of the nanoparticles. After 4 months of storage, the size of lyophilized nanoparticles did not significantly increase while those in aqueous suspension grew by over 900\%. Unlike its individual components, emulsifying wax (m.p., approximately 55 degrees C) and hexadecyltrimethyl ammonium bromide, the nanoparticles showed a melting point of approximately 90 degrees C. Moreover, the DSC profile of the nanoparticles was different from that of the physical mixture of emulsifying wax and CTAB. After 1 hour incubation at 37 degrees C, the uptake of mannan-coated nanoparticles was 50\% higher than that of the uncoated nanoparticles. At 4 degrees C and after one hour, the binding of the mannan-coated nanoparticles by J774E was over 2-fold higher than that of the uncoated nanoparticles. This increase in J774E binding could be abolished by preincubating the cells with free mannan, suggesting that the binding and uptake were receptor-mediated. In conclusion, the nanoparticles were lyophilizable, and lyophilization was shown to enhance the stability of the nanoparticles. DSC provided evidence that the nanoparticles were not a physical mixture of their individual components. Finally, cell binding and uptake studies demonstrated that the nanoparticles have potential application for cell-specific targeting.
This article was published in Drug Dev Ind Pharm
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology