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Antitumor effects of heparin-polyethyleneimine nanogels delivering claudin-3-targeted short hairpin RNA combined with low-dose cisplatin on ovarian cancer

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Cisplatin is normally administered in chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, but is accompanied by severe dose-dependent toxicity. The combination of cisplatin with other antitumor agents may be a useful alternative for achieving higher antitumor efficiency and lower toxicity. Claudin-3 (CLDN3), a commonly upregulated gene in 90% of ovarian cancers, has been identified as a novel therapeutic target of ovarian cancer. Therefore, in the present study, we constructed a recombinant plasmid carrying an shRNA targeting CLDN3 (pshCLDN3), and investigated the antitumor effects of the combination therapy of pshCLDN3 and a low-dose of cisplatin for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Heparin-polyethyleneimine (HPEI) nanogel, a novel gene carrier with superior biodegradability, excellent blood compatibility and low-toxicity, was used to deliver pshCLDN3 into ovarian cancer cells. The knockdown efficiency was determined by western blot analysis and CLDN3 immunostaining. Nude mice bearing intraperitoneal ovarian carcinomas were treated with pshCLDN3/HPEI complexes, low-dose cisplatin, pshCLDN3/HPEI plus low-dose cisplatin or control agents, respectively. The results showed that pshCLDN3/HPEI effectively suppressed the expression of CLDN3 in ovarian cancer. The combination therapy of pshCLDN3/HPEI and low-dose cisplatin exhibited enhanced antitumor activity, when compared with either agent alone, as evidenced by mean tumor weight analysis, Ki-67 immunostaining analysis and TUNEL assay, without obvious systemic toxicity. These results indicate that pshCLDN3/HPEI combined with low-dose cisplatin demonstrates apparent synergistic antitumor activity without marked toxicity. Our study offers a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of ovarian cancer.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Key Laboratory of Obstetric and Gynecologic and Pediatric Diseases and Birth Defects of the Ministry of Education, West China Second Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, P.R. China 2: State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy and Cancer Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, P.R. China

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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