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Expression of MUC5AC in ocular surface epithelial cells using cationized gelatin nanoparticles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1783-1788
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2011
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Decreased production of the mucin MUC5AC in the eye is related to several pathological conditions, including dry eye syndrome. A specific strategy for increasing the ocular levels of MUC5AC is not yet available. Using a plasmid specially designed to encode human MUC5AC, we evaluated the ability of hybrid cationized gelatin nanoparticles (NPs) containing polyanions (chondroitin sulfate or dextran sulfate) to transfect ocular epithelial cells. NPs were developed using the ionic gelation technique and characterized by a small size (95%). MUC5AC mRNA and protein were detected in conjunctival cells after in vitro transfection of the NPs. The in vivo administration of the NPs resulted in significantly higher MUC5AC expression in the conjunctiva compared to untreated control and naked plasmid. These results provide a proof-of-concept that these NPs are effective vehicles for gene therapy and candidates for restoring the MUC5AC concentration in the ocular surface.


  • dry eye, gene therapy, MUC5AC, nanoparticle, ocular surface