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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 379845, 7 pages
Research Article

Control and Augmentation of Long-Term Plasmid Transgene Expression In Vivo in Murine Muscle Tissue and Ex Vivo in Patient Mesenchymal Tissue

Cork Cancer Research Centre, BioSciences Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Received 28 January 2012; Revised 7 April 2012; Accepted 13 April 2012

Academic Editor: Claude Bagnis

Copyright © 2012 David Morrissey et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. In vivo gene therapy directed at tissues of mesenchymal origin could potentially augment healing. We aimed to assess the duration and magnitude of transene expression in vivo in mice and ex vivo in human tissues. Methods. Using bioluminescence imaging, plasmid and adenoviral vector-based transgene expression in murine quadriceps in vivo was examined. Temporal control was assessed using a doxycycline-inducible system. An ex vivo model was developed and optimised using murine tissue, and applied in ex vivo human tissue. Results. In vivo plasmid-based transgene expression did not silence in murine muscle, unlike in liver. Although maximum luciferase expression was higher in muscle with adenoviral delivery compared with plasmid, expression reduced over time. The inducible promoter cassette successfully regulated gene expression with maximum levels a factor of 11 greater than baseline. Expression was re-induced to a similar level on a temporal basis. Luciferase expression was readily detected ex vivo in human muscle and tendon. Conclusions. Plasmid constructs resulted in long-term in vivo gene expression in skeletal muscle, in a controllable fashion utilising an inducible promoter in combination with oral agents. Successful plasmid gene transfection in human ex vivo mesenchymal tissue was demonstrated for the first time.