Safety and short-term toxicity of a novel cationic lipid formulation for human gene therapy

Hong San, Zhi Yong Yang, Vincent J. Pompili, Michele L. Jaffe, Gregory E. Plautz, Ling Xu, Jiin H. Felgner, Carl J. Wheeler, Philip L. Felgner, Xiang Gao, Leaf Huang, David Gordon, Gary J. Nabel, Elizabeth G. Nabel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

169 Scopus citations


Among the potential nonviral vectors for human gene therapy are DNA-liposome complexes. In a recent clinical study, this delivery system has been utilized. In this report, a novel cationic lipid, dimyristyloxypropyl-3-dimethyl-hydroxyethyl ammonium (DMRIE), has been substituted into the DNA-liposome complex with dioleoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (DOPE), which both improves transfection efficiencies and allows increased doses of DNA to be delivered in vivo. The safety and toxicity of this DNA-liposome complex has been evaluated in two species, mice and pigs. The efficacy of DMRIE/DOPE in inducing an antitumor response in mice after transfer of a foreign MHC has been confirmed. No abnormalities were detected after administration of up to 1,000-fold higher concentrations of DNA and lipid than could be tolerated in vivo previously. Examination of serum biochemical enzymes, pathologic examination of tissue, and analysis of cardiac function in mice and pigs revealed no toxicities related to this treatment. This improved cationic lipid formulation is well-tolerated in vivo and could therefore allow higher dose administration and potentially greater efficiency of gene transfer for gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-788
Number of pages8
JournalHuman gene therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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