Lipid-based RNA nanocarriers have been recently accepted as a novel therapeutic option in humans, thus increasing the therapeutic options for patients. Tailored nanomedicines will enable to treat chronic liver disease (CLD) and end-stage liver cancer, disorders with high mortality and few treatment options. Here, we investigated the curative potential of gene therapy of a key molecule in CLD, the c-Jun N-terminal kinase-2 (Jnk2). Delivery to hepatocytes was achieved using a lipid-based clinically employable siRNA formulation that includes a cationic aminolipid to knockdown Jnk2 (named siJnk2). After assessing the therapeutic potential of siJnk2 treatment, non-invasive imaging demonstrated reduced apoptotic cell death and improved hepatocarcinogenesis was evidenced by improved liver parenchyma as well as ameliorated markers of hepatic damage, reduced fibrogenesis in 1-year-old mice. Strikingly, chronic siJnk2 treatment reduced premalignant nodules, indicative of tumor initiation. Furthermore, siJnk2 treatment led to a significant activation of the immune cell compartment. In conclusion, Jnk2 knockdown in hepatocytes ameliorated hepatitis, fibrogenesis, and initiation of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and hence might be a suitable therapeutic option, to define novel molecular targets for precision medicine in CLD.
- CATIONIC LIPIDS