Purpose. The purpose of this work was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effects of secretable human Cu, Zn-superoxide dismutase (hSOD) delivered by genetically modified skin fibroblasts in vitro and in vivo. Methods. Rat skin fibroblasts were transfected with pRc/CMV-ILSOD including secretable SOD-coding cDNA. The effects of host and transformants on oxidative stress in vitro models using the xanthine/xanthine oxidase (X/XO) system were examined to study the paracrine SOD action. The anti-inflammatory effects by transplantation of host and transformants were evaluated in an acute inflammation model, carrageenin-induced paw edema, in rats. Results. The transformants (ILSOD cells) secreted SOD protein into the extracellular space, and the extracellular SOD activity in ILSOD cells cultures was significantly increased compared with that in host cell cultures. ILSOD cells diminished the cytotoxic activity by X/XO in a paracrine fashion. These protective effects of ILSOD cells against X/XO-induced cytotoxicity correlated well with the decrease in lipid peroxidation in the damaged cells. The in vivo study showed that transplantation of ILSOD cell suspensions into the hind paw in rats inhibited carrageenin-induced paw edema for at least 7 days, and the degree and the durability of these inhibitory effects were dependent on the number of ILSOD cells transplanted. These inhibitory effects of ILSOD cell suspensions were reduced by co-administration of antiserum for hSOD. Furthermore, the healing of paw edema caused by carrageenin was markedly enhanced by transplantation of ILSOD cells into the edemics hind paw. Conclusions. The findings suggested that genetically modified skin fibroblasts are a suitable delivery system for obtaining an efficient and continuous supply of SOD to the target site, and this strategy may be a useful drug delivery system for therapeutic proteins.
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