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Damaging Tumor Vessels with an Ultrasound-Triggered NO Release Nanosystem to Enhance Drug Accumulation and T Cells Infiltration

Authors Xu Y, Liu J, Liu Z, Chen G, Li X, Ren H

Received 3 December 2020

Accepted for publication 16 March 2021

Published 1 April 2021 Volume 2021:16 Pages 2597—2613


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Mian Wang

Yan Xu, Jiwei Liu, Zhangya Liu, Guoguang Chen, Xueming Li, Hao Ren

School of Pharmaceutical Science, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Xueming Li; Hao Ren
Nanjing Tech University, School of Pharmaceutical Science and Pharmaceutical Engineering, No. 30 Puzhu South Road, Nanjing, 211816, China
Email [email protected]; [email protected]

Introduction: Limited by tumor vascular barriers, restricted intratumoural T cell infiltration and nanoparticles accumulation remain major bottlenecks for anticancer therapy. Platelets are now known to maintain tumor vascular integrity. Therefore, inhibition of tumor-associated platelets may be an effective method to increase T cell infiltration and drug accumulation at tumor sites. Herein, we designed an ultrasound-responsive nitric oxide (NO) release nanosystem, SNO-HSA-PTX, which can release NO in response to ultrasound (US) irradiation, thereby inhibiting platelet function and opening the tumor vascular barrier, promoting drug accumulation and T cell infiltration.
Methods: We evaluated the ability of SNO-HSA-PTX to release NO in response to US irradiation. We also tested the effect of SNO-HSA-PTX on platelet function. Plenty of studies including cytotoxicity, pharmacokinetics study, biodistribution, blood perfusion, T cell infiltration, in vivo antitumor efficacy and safety assessment were conducted to investigate the antitumor effect of SNO-HSA-PTX.
Results: SNO-HSA-PTX with US irradiation inhibited tumor-associated platelets activation and induced openings in the tumor vascular barriers, which promoted the accumulation of SNO-HSA-PTX nanoparticles to the tumor sites. Meanwhile, the damaged vascular barriers allowed oxygen-carrying hemoglobin to infiltrate tumor regions, alleviating hypoxia of the tumor microenvironment. In addition, the intratumoral T cell infiltration was augmented, together with chemotherapy and NO therapy, which greatly inhibited tumor growth.
Discussion: Our research designed a simple strategy to open the vascular barrier by inhibiting the tumor-associated platelets, which provide new ideas for anti-tumor treatment.

Keywords: intratumoural T cell infiltration, nanoparticles accumulation, tumor vascular barriers, nitric oxide, tumor-associated platelets

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