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Drug-free mannosylated liposomes inhibit tumor growth by promoting the polarization of tumor-associated macrophages

Authors Ye J, Yang Y, Dong W, Gao Y, Meng Y, Wang H, Li L, Jin J, Ji M, Xia X, Chen X, Jin Y, Liu Y

Received 4 March 2019

Accepted for publication 4 April 2019

Published 2 May 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 3203—3220


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Mian Wang

Jun Ye,1–3 Yanfang Yang,1,2 Wujun Dong,1,2 Yue Gao,1,2 Yingying Meng,1,2 Hongliang Wang,1,2 Lin Li,1,2 Jing Jin,1 Ming Ji,1 Xuejun Xia,1,2 Xiaoguang Chen,1 Yiqun Jin,3 Yuling Liu1,2

1State Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substance and Function of Natural Medicines, Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100050, People’s Republic of China; 2Beijing Key Laboratory of Drug Delivery Technology and Novel Formulation, Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100050, People’s Republic of China; 3Research and Development Department, Beijing Wehand-bio Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, Beijing, 102600, People’s Republic of China

Background: Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are critical in tumor progression and metastasis. Selective targeting of TAMs holds great potential to ameliorate the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and enhance the efficacy of antitumor therapy. Various liposomes have been developed to target TAMs via cell-specific surface receptors either to deplete or re-educate TAMs. Since immuno-stimulation often initiates with the interaction of nanocarriers with the innate immunity cells such as macrophages, the intrinsic impact of drug-free liposomes on macrophage activation and polarization via cell interaction is one of the most critical issues in nanomedicine for promoting effective immunotherapy.
Methods: In this study, conventional bare liposomes, PEGylated liposomes, and mannosylated liposomes were developed and the cytotoxicity, cellular internalization, immunostimulatory activity, targeting efficiency, antitumor efficacy, and mechanism were evaluated in vitro and in vivo.
Results: All liposomes displayed an ideal particle size, good biocompatibility, and controlled release behavior. Mannosylated liposomes exhibited superior in vitro cellular internalization and tumor spheroid penetration with the aid of the mannose receptor-mediated TAMs-targeting effects. In particular, mannosylated liposomes promoted the polarization of both M0 and M2 to the M1 phenotype by enhancing the expression ratio of CD86/CD206 in vitro. Of note, mannosylated liposomes could inhibit G422 glioma tumor growth, which may be attributed to the polarization of TAMs, as evidenced by the reduction in expression level of the TAMs surface marker.
Conclusion: These results indicate the potential value of mannosylated liposomes in the design of a rational delivery system to enhance the antitumor immune efficacy of immunomodulators by inducing a shift from the M2 to the M1 phenotype.

Keywords: liposomes, cancer immunotherapy, tumor-associated macrophages, mannose receptor, drug delivery

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