In vivo electroporation is a non-viral method for efficient gene transfer in vivo, particularly in the skeletal muscle (where muscle tissue is able to produce functional post-translation modified proteins.
There is no immune response that is induced against DNA treatment, therefore electroporation has an advantage over recombinant protein therapy.
Electroporation can be beneficial in treating such diseases as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Direct intratumoral plasmid electroporation is a well-developed strategy for local production of therapeutic proteins. However, the efficacy of gene transfer into tumor cells in vivo is generally low, therefore electroporation protocols must be carefully optimized.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease where observations of following characteristics are made: joint destruction and systemic inflammation. DNA electroporation of anti-inflammatory cytokines provided promising results: Interleukin-10 was efficient in both preventive and curative treatment of collagen-induced arthritis in rodents. Electroporation of an Interleukin-4 prevented the incidence of severe arthritis for over 2 weeks and led to reduced Interleukin-10 levels in the ankle joints.
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