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Expression of folate receptors in nasopharyngeal and laryngeal carcinoma and folate receptor-mediated endocytosis by molecular targeted nanomedicine

Authors Xie M, Zhang H, Xu Y, Liu T, Chen S, Wang J, Zhang T

Received 6 April 2013

Accepted for publication 15 May 2013

Published 10 July 2013 Volume 2013:8(1) Pages 2443—2451

DOI https://dx.doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S46327

Checked for plagiarism Yes

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M Xie, H Zhang, Y Xu, T Liu, S Chen, J Wang, T Zhang

Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China

Abstract: Immunohistochemistry and an immunofluorescence technique was used to detect folate receptor expression in tissue samples and cell lines of head and neck squamous carcinoma, including 20 tissue samples of nasopharyngeal carcinoma, 16 tissue samples of laryngeal carcinoma, and HNE-1, HNE-2, CNE-1, CNE-2, SUNE-1, 5-8F, and Hep-2 cell lines. Iron staining, electron microscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging were used to observe endocytosis of folate-conjugated cisplatin-loaded magnetic nanoparticles (CDDP-FA-ASA-MNP) in cultured cells and transplanted tumors. As shown by immunohistochemistry, 83.3% (30/36) of the head and neck squamous carcinomas expressed the folate receptor versus none in the control group (0/24). Only the HNE-1 and Hep-2 cell lines expressed the folate receptor, and the other five cell lines did not. Endocytosis of CDDP-FA-ASA-MNP was seen in HNE-1 and Hep-2 cells by iron staining and electron microscopy. A similar result was seen in transplanted tumors in nude mice. Magnetic resonance imaging showed low signal intensity of HNE-1 cells and HNE-1 transplanted tumors on T2-weighted images after uptake of CDDP-FA-ASA-MNP, and this was not seen in CNE-2 transplanted tumors. In conclusion, head and neck squamous carcinoma cell strongly expressed the folate receptor, while normal tissue did not. The folate receptor can mediate endocytosis of folate-conjugated anticancer nanomedicines, and lays the foundation for molecular targeted treatment of cancer.

Keywords: nasopharyngeal carcinoma, laryngeal carcinoma, folate receptor, molecular targeting, cisplatin, nanomedicine

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