For successful cancer gene therapy via intravenous (i.v.) administration, it is essential to optimize the stability of carriers in the systemic circulation and the cellular association after the accumulation of the carrier in tumor tissue. However, a dilemma exists regarding the use of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), which is useful for conferring stability in the systemic circulation, but is undesirable for the cellular uptake and the following processes. We report the development of a PEG-peptide-lipid ternary conjugate (PEG-Peptide-DOPE conjugate (PPD)). In this strategy, the PEG is removed from the carriers via cleavage by a matrix metalloproteinase (MMP), which is specifically expressed in tumor tissues. An in vitro study revealed that the PPD-modified gene carrier (Multifunctional Envelope-type Nano Device: MEND) exhibited pDNA expression activity that was dependent on the MMP expression level in the host cells. In vivo studies further revealed that the PPD was potent in stabilizing MEND in the systemic circulation and facilitating tumor accumulation. Moreover, the i.v. administration of PPD or PEG/PPD dually-modified MEND resulted in the stimulation of pDNA expression in tumor tissue, as compared with a conventional PEG-modified MEND. Thus, MEND modified with PPD is a promising device, which has the potential to make in vivo cancer gene therapy achievable.
It is reported that statins have inconsistent effects on glycemic status and adiponectin concentrations in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We aimed to investigate the effect of statins on these variables in patients with T2DM and hypercholesterolemia. A control group comprising 24 patients with T2DM but without hypercholesterolemia was observed for more than 12 weeks, while 24 patients with T2DM and hypercholesterolemia were treated with statins for the same period (statin group). The percentage changes in the glycemic status [blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin (HbAlc) 1, and levels of plasma adiponectin [total and high molecular weight (HMW)] were compared between the two groups. The statin group had reduced percentage changes in HbAlc, blood glucose, and total and HMW-adiponectin concentration percentage changes that were similar to those in the control group. However, when matched for sex, age (+/- 5 years) and HbAlc (+/- 0.5%) with the control group, the pravastatin group had reduced percentage changes in the plasma HMW-adiponectin concentrations than the matched controls (p = 0.023). However, there were no differences in the percentage changes in the plasma total adiponectin (p = 0.137), HbAlc (p = 0.202), or blood glucose concentrations (p = 0.450) between the two groups. Pravastatin treatment had no effect on the glycemic status of patients with T2DM and hypercholesterolemia, but may reduce the percentage changes in the plasma HMW-adiponectin concentrations. Hence, patients with T2DM and hypercholesterolemia receiving long-term treatment with pravastatin might experience increased insulin resistance.