Scientific reports

In vivo stepwise immunomodulation using chitosan nanoparticles as a platform nanotechnology for cancer immunotherapy.

PMID 27910914


Dentritic cell (DC)-based cancer immunotherapy faces challenges in both efficacy and practicality. However, DC-based vaccination requires multiple injections and elaborates ex vivo manipulation, which substantially limits their use. Therefore, we sought to develop a chitosan nanoparticle (CH-NP)-based platform for the next generation of vaccines to bypass the ex vivo manipulation and induce immune responses via active delivery of polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid sodium salt (poly I:C) to target Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) in endosomes. We developed CH-NPs encapsulating ovalbumin (OVA) as a model antigen and poly I:C as the adjuvant in an ionic complex. These CH-NPs showed increased in vivo intracellular delivery to the DCs in comparison with controls after injection into tumor-bearing mice, and promoted DC maturation, leading to emergence of antigen-specific cytotoxic CD8+ T cells. Finally, the CH-NPs showed significantly greater antitumor efficacy in EG.7 and TC-1 tumor-bearing mice compared to the control (p < 0.01). Taken together, these data show that the CH-NP platform can be used as an immune response modulatory vaccine for active cancer immunotherapy without ex vivo manipulation, thus resulting in increased anticancer efficacy.