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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Efficacy of cationic liposome-mediated gene transfer to mesangial cells in vitro and in vivo.

Mesangial cells represent a major target for gene transfer approaches to the kidney. To establish a liposome-based system for transfection of mesangial cells we analyzed the efficacy and toxicity of different cationic liposomes and other nonviral transfection methods in primary cultures of rat and human mesangial cells using the Escherichia coli beta-galactosidase (lacZ) gene as a marker. In addition, an expression vector containing a human renin cDNA under the control of the cytomegalovirus immediate-early promoter/enhancer was generated, introduced into mesangial cells, and assayed in a system of transient gene expression. In vivo, gene transfer was studied after infusion of liposome/DNA complexes in the kidney of rats via the renal artery. Transfection efficiency ranged from 5.5% with DMRIE Liposomes in rat mesangial cells to 1.1% with LipofectAmine liposomes in human mesangial cells. Cytotoxicity following transfection was dependent on the transfection method. Transfection with the human renin expression vector led to the secretion of 11 pg/10(4) cells/48 h human renin in rat mesangial cells, 3,600 pg/10(4) cells/48 h in 293 cells, and 113 pg/10(4) cells/48 h human renin in opossum kidney cells. In vivo, infusion of liposomes was accompanied by nephrotoxicity and did not result in marker gene expression. Together the data demonstrate that cationic liposomes are useful tools for transferring genes into mesangial cells, including human mesangial cells. Cationic liposomes provide a functional system for the synthesis and secretion of human renin in mesangial cells and other mammalian kidney cells. The current limitation of the evaluated liposomes for an efficient in vivo gene transfer to mesangial cells is the toxicity upon intrarenal arterial administration.[1]


  1. Efficacy of cationic liposome-mediated gene transfer to mesangial cells in vitro and in vivo. Madry, H., Reszka, R., Bohlender, J., Wagner, J. J. Mol. Med. (2001) [Pubmed]
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