Systemic antiangiogenic activity of cationic poly-L-lysine dendrimer delays tumor growth

Khuloud T Al-Jamal, Wafa' T Al-Jamal, Simon Akerman, Jennifer E Podesta, Açelya Yilmazer, John A Turton, Alberto Bianco, Neil Vargesson, Chryso Kanthou, Alexander T Florence, Gillian M Tozer, Kostas Kostarelos

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This study describes the previously unreported intrinsic capacity of poly-L-lysine (PLL) sixth generation (G(6)) dendrimer molecules to exhibit systemic antiangiogenic activity that could lead to solid tumor growth arrest. The PLL-dendrimer-inhibited tubule formation of SVEC4-10 murine endothelial cells and neovascularization in the chick embryo chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay. Intravenous administration of the PLL-dendrimer molecules into C57BL/6 mice inhibited vascularisation in Matrigel plugs implanted subcutaneously. Antiangiogenic activity was further evidenced using intravital microscopy of tumors grown within dorsal skinfold window chambers. Reduced vascularization of P22 rat sarcoma implanted in the dorsal window chamber of SCID mice was observed following tail vein administration (i.v.) of the PLL dendrimers. Also, the in vivo toxicological profile of the PLL-dendrimer molecules was shown to be safe at the dose regime studied. The antiangiogenic activity of the PLL dendrimer was further shown to be associated with significant suppression of B16F10 solid tumor volume and delayed tumor growth. Enhanced apoptosis/necrosis within tumors of PLL-dendrimer-treated animals only and reduction in the number of CD31 positive cells were observed in comparison to protamine treatment. This study suggests that PLL-dendrimer molecules can exhibit a systemic antiangiogenic activity that may be used for therapy of solid tumors, and in combination with their capacity to carry other therapeutic or diagnostic agents may potentially offer capabilities for the design of theranostic systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3966-3971
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2010


  • Animals
  • Cations
  • Polylysine
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Dendrimers
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Neoplasms, Experimental
  • Cell Division

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