Suppression of fibrin(ogen)-driven pathologies in disease models through controlled knockdown by lipid nanoparticle delivery of siRNA

Lih Jiin Juang, Woosuk S. Hur, Lakmali M. Silva, Amy W. Strilchuk, Brenton Francisco, Jerry Leung, Madelaine K. Robertson, Dafna J. Groeneveld, Bridget La Prairie, Elizabeth M. Chun, Andrew P. Cap, James P. Luyendyk, Joseph S. Palumbo, Pieter R. Cullis, Thomas H. Bugge, Matthew J. Flick, Christian J. Kastrup*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Fibrinogen plays a pathologic role in multiple diseases. It contributes to thrombosis and modifies inflammatory and immune responses, supported by studies in mice expressing fibrinogen variants with altered function or with a germline fibrinogen deficiency. However, therapeutic strategies to safely and effectively tailor plasma fibrinogen concentration are lacking. Here, we developed a strategy to tune fibrinogen expression by administering lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-encapsulated small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting the fibrinogen α chain (siFga). Three distinct LNP-siFga reagents reduced both hepatic Fga messenger RNA and fibrinogen levels in platelets and plasma, with plasma levels decreased to 42%, 16%, and 4% of normal within 1 week of administration. Using the most potent siFga, circulating fibrinogen was controllably decreased to 32%, 14%, and 5% of baseline with 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 mg/kg doses, respectively. Whole blood from mice treated with siFga formed clots with significantly decreased clot strength ex vivo, but siFga treatment did not compromise hemostasis following saphenous vein puncture or tail transection. In an endotoxemia model, siFga suppressed the acute phase response and decreased plasma fibrinogen, D-dimer, and proinflammatory cytokine levels. In a sterile peritonitis model, siFga restored normal macrophage migration in plasminogen-deficient mice. Finally, treatment of mice with siFga decreased the metastatic potential of tumor cells in a manner comparable to that observed in fibrinogen-deficient mice. The results indicate that siFga causes robust and controllable depletion of fibrinogen and provides the proof-of-concept that this strategy can modulate the pleiotropic effects of fibrinogen in relevant disease models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1302-1311
Number of pages10
Issue number9
StatePublished - 3 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


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