Intracerebral diffusion of paramagnetic cationic liposomes containing Gd(DTPA)2- followed by MRI spectroscopy: assessment of pattern diffusion and time steadiness of a non-viral vector model.

International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology

PubMedID: 16831304

Masotti A, Mangiola A, Sabatino G, Maira G, Denaro L, Conti F, Ortaggi G, Capuani G. Intracerebral diffusion of paramagnetic cationic liposomes containing Gd(DTPA)2- followed by MRI spectroscopy: assessment of pattern diffusion and time steadiness of a non-viral vector model. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2006;19(2):379-90.
Cationic liposomes are generally considered as the non-viral counterparts of the more common viral vectors used in several gene therapy protocols, but their use as delivery vehicles is limited by their efficiency even if they display a lower toxicity. However, cationic liposomes are promising delivery systems in cell biology due to their ability to incorporate small molecules into their inner aqueous spheres and to deliver them into cells. Additionally, on the external surface they can bind therapeutic molecules such as nucleic acids, oligonucleotides, plasmids, etc. through electrostatic interactions. The aim of this work was to study the diffusion properties of such vehicles in vivo with a non-invasive technique and to monitor their tissue migration in order to collect information to be further used in gene therapy procedures. For this purpose, cationic liposomes containing the paramagnetic contrast agent Gd(DTPA)2- (Gd(III)-diethylenetriamine-N,N,N',N",N"-pentaacetic acid) were investigated because of their extended paramagnetic persistency in vivo, compared to the use of the contrast agent alone, and they were used to monitor the diffusion of such vehicles in an animal model (rat model). In particular, these vectors were injected into the rat brain through a stereotactic frame in a preformed cavity mimicking the lesion which had originated after surgical removal of the primary tumor. For the purpose of comparison, the same injection procedure was also applied to a control series of animals without a preformed brain lesion. Pattern diffusion and steadiness of the reported paramagnetic cationic liposomes were studied by means of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) which allowed us to monitor their diffusion and assess their intracerebral time availability up to 24 hours.