Mannosylated polyion complexes for in vivo gene delivery into CD11c+ dendritic cells

Lior Raviv, Michal Jaron-Mendelson, Ayelet David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Dendritic cells (DCs) possess unique abilities in initiating primary immune responses and thus represent prime targets for DNA-based vaccinations. Here, we describe the design and synthesis of mannosylated polyion complexes (PICs) composed of cationic polyethylenimine (PEI) and hydrophilic polyethylene glycol (PEG) segments, and bearing mono- and trivalent mannose as a ligand for targeting mannose receptor (MR/CD206)-positive DCs. Amino-terminated mannose (Man)-containing ligands in mono- and trivalent presentations (Man- and Man3-, respectively) were prepared and conjugated to PEG via an N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS)-activated terminal. Thiolated PEI was conjugated to the mannosylated PEG via the maleimide (MAL)-activated terminal. The resulting positively charged diblock copolymers bearing mannoses (Man-PEG-b-PEI and Man3-PEG-b-PEI) were self-assembled with DNA to form PICs with lower surface charge than did their PEI building block and mean hydrodynamic diameters in the range of 100-450 nm, depending on the N/P ratio. Man3-PEG-b-PEI demonstrated a 3-4-fold greater transfection efficiency in MR-positive dendritic cell lines (THP-1, DC2.4), relative to Man-PEG-b-PEI, exhibited low cytotoxicity when compared with PEI, and showed low transfection efficiency in nondendritic HeLa cells. In preliminary in vivo experiments, Man-PEG-b-PEI/DNA and Man3-PEG-b-PEI/DNA demonstrated 2-3-fold higher gene delivery efficiency into CD11c+ DCs collected from inguinal lymph nodes of C57/BL6 mice, when compared to PEI/DNA complexes, as shown by GFP expression measurements, 24 h post subcutaneous injection. The results indicate that the mannosylated PICs are a safe and effective gene delivery system, showing in vivo specificity toward CD11c+ DCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-462
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Feb 2015


  • dendritic cells
  • gene delivery system
  • mannose receptor
  • mannose-receptor ligands
  • multivalency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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