DNA electrotransfer is a successful technic for gene delivery. However, its use in clinical applications is limited since little is known about the mechanisms governing DNA electrotransfer in the complex environment occurring in a tissue. The objectives of this work were to investigate the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in that process. Tumor ECM composition was shown to modulate in vivo gene electrotransfer efficiency. In order to assess the effects of ECM composition and organization, as well as intercellular junctions and communication, in normal tissue response to electric pulses, we developed an innovative three-dimensional (3D) reconstructed human connective tissue model. 3D human dermal tissue was reconstructed in vitro by a tissue engineering approach and was representative of in vivo cell organization since cell–cell contacts were present as well as complex ECM. This human cell model presented multiple layers of primary dermal fibroblasts embedded in a native, collagen-rich ECM. This dermal tissue could become a useful tool to study skin DNA electrotransfer mechanisms. As proof of the concept, we show here that the cells within this standardized 3D tissue can be efficiently electropermeabilized by milliseconds electric pulses. We believe that a better comprehension of gene electrotransfer in such a model tissue would help improve electrogene therapy approaches such as the systemic delivery of therapeutic proteins and DNA vaccination.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 19, 2015
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