Hyaluronidase contributes to early inflammatory events induced by electrotransfer in mouse skeletal muscle

Pieranna Chiarella, Stefania De Santis, Vito M. Fazio, Emanuela Signori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electrotransfer of genes is one of the preferred strategies used to deliver plasmid DNA into skeletal muscle. In our experience, the combination of hyaluronidase (HYA) with electrotransfer (ET) of DNA vaccine enhances transfection of muscular fibers and increases expression of the encoded antigen. However, the contribution of HYA to the inflammatory reaction induced by ET, and its role in supporting ET adjuvancy, has never been investigated. We analyzed the events occurring in the first 2 weeks after electrotransfer to mouse muscle in the presence of HYA, to verify whether HYA contributes to the local inflammatory response induced by ET. Our results demonstrate that HYA amplifies the ET effect in terms of inflammatory cell recruitment enhancing the early release of interleukin (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, and IL-6 cytokines. In contrast, HYA does not induce helper T cell type 1 and 2 cytokine production, confirming that the DNA vaccine is indispensable to induce mediators of antigen-specific immune responses. We observed inflammatory cell migration in the muscle treated with HYA plus ET in a time window between days 4 and 7 after cytokine induction. These observations are important in the choice of prime-boost intervals for optimizing ET-based DNA vaccination protocols. Because HYA contributes to vaccine spread and enhances the proinflammatory effect of ET in muscle we strongly support the use of HYA to potentiate DNA vaccine efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-416
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Gene Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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