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Multiscale Selectivity and in vivo Biodistribution of NRP-1-Targeted Theranostic AGuIX Nanoparticles for PDT of Glioblastoma

Authors Gries M, Thomas N, Daouk J, Rocchi P, Choulier L, Jubréaux J, Pierson J, Reinhard A, Jouan-Hureaux V, Chateau A, Acherar S, Frochot C, Lux F, Tillement O, Barberi-Heyob M

Received 12 May 2020

Accepted for publication 27 August 2020

Published 9 November 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 8739—8758


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Anderson Oliveira Lobo

Mickaël Gries, 1 Noémie Thomas, 1 Joël Daouk, 1 Paul Rocchi, 2 Laurence Choulier, 3 Justine Jubréaux, 1 Julien Pierson, 1 Aurélie Reinhard, 1 Valérie Jouan-Hureaux, 1 Alicia Chateau, 1 Samir Acherar, 4 Céline Frochot, 5 François Lux, 2– 6 Olivier Tillement, 2 Muriel Barberi-Heyob 1

1Université de Lorraine, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Research Center for Automatic Control of Nancy (CRAN), Nancy, France; 2Université de Lyon, CNRS, Institut Lumière Matière, Lyon, France; 3Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, Laboratory of Bioimaging and Pathologies, Illkirch, France; 4Université de Lorraine, CNRS, Laboratoire de Chimie-Physique Macromoléculaire, Nancy, France; 5Université de Lorraine, CNRS, Laboratoire Réactions et Génie des Procédés, Nancy, France; 6Institut Universitaire de France, Paris, France

Correspondence: Muriel Barberi-Heyob Email

Background: Local recurrences of glioblastoma (GBM) after heavy standard treatments remain frequent and lead to a poor prognostic. Major challenges are the infiltrative part of the tumor tissue which is the ultimate cause of recurrence. The therapeutic arsenal faces the difficulty of eradicating this infiltrating part of the tumor tissue while increasing the targeting of tumor and endogenous stromal cells such as angiogenic endothelial cells. In this aim, neuropilin-1 (NRP-1), a transmembrane receptor mainly overexpressed by endothelial cells of the tumor vascular system and associated with malignancy, proliferation and migration of GBM, highlighted to be a relevant molecular target to promote the anti-vascular effect of photodynamic therapy (VTP).
Methods: The multiscale selectivity was investigated for KDKPPR peptide moiety targeting NRP-1 and a porphyrin molecule as photosensitizer (PS), both grafted onto original AGuIX design nanoparticle. AGuIX nanoparticle, currently in Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of brain metastases with radiotherapy, allows to achieve a real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and an accumulation in the tumor area by EPR (enhanced permeability and retention) effect. Using surface-plasmon resonance (SPR), we evaluated the affinities of KDKPPR and scramble free peptides, and also peptides-conjugated AGuIX nanoparticles to recombinant rat and human NRP-1 proteins. For in vivo selectivity, we used a cranial window model and parametric maps obtained from T2*-weighted perfusion MRI analysis.
Results: The photophysical characteristics of the PS and KDKPPR molecular affinity for recombinant human NRP-1 proteins were maintained after the functionalization of AGuIX nanoparticle with a dissociation constant of 4.7 μM determined by SPR assays. Cranial window model and parametric maps, both revealed a prolonged retention in the vascular system of human xenotransplanted GBM. Thanks to the fluorescence of porphyrin by non-invasive imaging and the concentration of gadolinium evaluated after extraction of organs, we checked the absence of nanoparticle in the brains of tumor-free animals and highlighted elimination by renal excretion and hepatic metabolism.
Conclusion: Post-VTP follow-ups demonstrated promising tumor responses with a prolonged delay in tumor growth accompanied by a decrease in tumor metabolism.

Keywords: vascular photodynamic therapy, AGuIX nanoparticle, NRP-1, peptide, brain tumors, glioblastoma, radiation therapies

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