TISSUE ENGINEERING PART A, vol.25, pp.34-43, 2018 (SCI-Expanded)
Osteoporosis, which is characterized by low bone mineral density and susceptibility to fracture, is caused by increased osteoclastic activity. Receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand (RANKL)/RANK signaling plays an important role in osteoclast differentiation and activation. The current treatment strategies for osteoporosis do not directly address this underlying cause and generates undesired side effects. This led to emergence of controlled delivery systems to increase drug bioavailability and efficacy specifically at the bone tissue. With better understanding of molecular pathology of bone, the use of small interfering RNA (siRNA) to inhibit translation of abnormal gene expression in cells is becoming a promising approach. In this study, we report a siRNA delivery system consisting of PEI:RANK siRNA complex entrapped in nanosized poly(lactic acid-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) capsules intended to be used in the treatment of osteoporosis. The nanosize will enable the nanoparticles to be administered by intravenous injection. The RANK siRNA was complexed with polyethylenimine (PEI) and loaded into biodegradable PLGA nanocapsules (NCs). The PEI:RANK siRNA loaded nanocapsules significantly reduced (47%) RANK mRNA levels. The differentiation of osteoclast precursors to mature osteoclasts was significantly suppressed (approximate to 54%). The reduction in the osteoclastic activity of the differentiated osteoclasts (55%) was found to be statistically significant. The siRNA delivery system developed in the study is planned to be tested i.v. in mouse and has the potential to be used as a novel alternative approach for the systemic treatment of osteoporosis.