Changes in gene expression pattern of human primary macrophages induced by carbosilane dendrimer 2G-NN16

Pharm Res. 2009 Mar;26(3):577-86. doi: 10.1007/s11095-008-9776-z. Epub 2008 Nov 25.


Purpose: The use of dendrimers for biomedical applications has emerged with promising results. 2G-NN16 is a carbosilane dendrimer with sixteen positive charges per molecule tested to be capable to bind and release antisense oligonucleotides (ODNs) and small interference RNA (siRNA) in vitro. In spite of low cytotoxicity observed for these dendrimers, little is known about cellular changes they produce in cells in general and in immune cells in particular.

Materials and methods: Genomic technologies allow us to identify global gene expression profile changes in macrophages exposed to a non-toxic concentration (5 microM) of 2G-NN16, alone or complexed with a random siRNA (dendriplex). Results were confirmed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR.

Results: Exposing macrophages to this dendrimer or dendriplex causes multiple gene expression changes, but no specific action of random siRNA was detected. Pathway analysis of differentially expressed genes shows the altered functions to be immune response, proliferation and transcription regulation. Interleukin 17F (IL17F) was the most regulated gene.

Conclusions: Global gene expression profiles are a highly sensitive method to measure the toxicity degree of a gene delivery vehicle. The strong repression of IL17F, IL23R and IL23A, all of which are involved in autoimmune disease, by this particular dendrimer suggests a potential pharmacological application.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendrimers / chemistry
  • Dendrimers / toxicity*
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry
  • Drug Carriers / toxicity*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Expression / drug effects*
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Molecular Structure
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Silanes / chemistry
  • Silanes / toxicity*


  • Dendrimers
  • Drug Carriers
  • Silanes
  • carbosilane