Method: In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of the selective knock down of pro-apoptotic genes in mouse salivary gland cells, both in vitro and in vivo. We used a unique nanoparticle-mediated delivery system to carry small interfering RNA molecules (siRNAs) into target salivary gland cells.
Result: The pH-responsive property of the siRNA/nanoparticle complexes ensured approximately 80% transfection efficiency in vitro, and promoted internalization into salivary gland cells, in vivo. Treatment of salivary gland cells with siRNAs targeting the pro-apoptotic genes Pkcδ, or Bax, resulted in more than 50% knock down in vitro, as well as in vivo. Moreover, silencing of these pro-apoptotic genes provided a radioprotective effect, as measured by the significant reduction of apoptosis, in vitro.
Conclusion: We propose that transient knock down of pro-apoptotic genes in salivary glands prior to radiation can prevent salivary gland damage after radiotherapy and may suppress cellular apoptosis in other salivary gland diseases, as well.
Keywords: Apoptosis, Cell culture, Gene expression, Oral biology and Salivary glands
See more of: Salivary Research