Delivery strategies of RNA therapeutics to leukocytes

J Control Release. 2022 Feb;342:362-371. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2022.01.016. Epub 2022 Jan 15.


Harnessing RNA-based therapeutics for cancer, inflammation, and viral diseases is hindered by poor delivery of therapeutic RNA molecules. Targeting leukocytes to treat these conditions holds great promise, as they are key participants in their initiation, drug response, and treatment. The various extra- and intra-cellular obstacles that impediment the clinical implementation of therapeutic RNA can be overcome by utilizing drug delivery systems. However, delivery of therapeutic RNA to leukocytes poses an even greater challenge as these cells are difficult to reach and transfect upon systemic administration. This review briefly describes the existing successful delivery strategies that efficiently target leukocytes in vivo and discuss their potential clinical applicability.

Keywords: Drug delivery; Leukocytes; Nanocarriers; RNA; mRNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics


  • RNA, Small Interfering