Tailoring Nanostructure Morphology for Enhanced Targeting of Dendritic Cells in Atherosclerosis.
ABSTRACT: Atherosclerosis, a leading cause of heart disease, results from chronic vascular inflammation that is driven by diverse immune cell populations. Nanomaterials may function as powerful platforms for diagnostic imaging and controlled delivery of therapeutics to inflammatory cells in atherosclerosis, but efficacy is limited by nonspecific uptake by cells of the mononuclear phagocytes system (MPS). MPS cells located in the liver, spleen, blood, lymph nodes, and kidney remove from circulation the vast majority of intravenously administered nanomaterials regardless of surface functionalization or conjugation of targeting ligands. Here, we report that nanostructure morphology alone can be engineered for selective uptake by dendritic cells (DCs), which are critical mediators of atherosclerotic inflammation. Employing near-infrared fluorescence imaging and flow cytometry as a multimodal approach, we compared organ and cellular level biodistributions of micelles, vesicles (i.e., polymersomes), and filomicelles, all assembled from poly(ethylene glycol)-bl-poly(propylene sulfide) (PEG-bl-PPS) block copolymers with identical surface chemistries. While micelles and filomicelles were respectively found to associate with liver macrophages and blood-resident phagocytes, polymersomes were exceptionally efficient at targeting splenic DCs (up to 85% of plasmacytoid DCs) and demonstrated significantly lower uptake by other cells of the MPS. In a mouse model of atherosclerosis, polymersomes demonstrated superior specificity for DCs (p < 0.005) in atherosclerotic lesions. Furthermore, significant differences in polymersome cellular biodistributions were observed in atherosclerotic compared to naïve mice, including impaired targeting of phagocytes in lymph nodes. These results present avenues for immunotherapies in cardiovascular disease and demonstrate that nanostructure morphology can be tailored to enhance targeting specificity.
Project description:Flash nanoprecipitation (FNP) has proven to be a powerful tool for the rapid and scalable assembly of solid-core nanoparticles from block copolymers. The process can be performed using a simple confined impingement jets mixer and provides an efficient and reproducible method of loading micelles with hydrophobic drugs. To date, FNP has not been applied for the fabrication of complex or vesicular nanoarchitectures capable of encapsulating hydrophilic molecules or bioactive protein therapeutics. Here, we present FNP as a single customizable method for the assembly of bicontinuous nanospheres, filomicelles and vesicular, multilamellar and tubular polymersomes from poly(ethylene glycol)-bl-poly(propylene sulfide) block copolymers. Multiple impingements of polymersomes assembled via FNP were shown to decrease vesicle diameter and polydispersity, allowing gram-scale fabrication of monodisperse polymersomes within minutes. Furthermore, we demonstrate that FNP supports the simultaneous loading of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic molecules respectively into the polymersome membrane and aqueous lumen, and encapsulated enzymes were found to be released and remain active following vesicle lysis. As an example application, theranostic polymersomes were generated via FNP that were dual loaded with the immunosuppressant rapamycin and a fluorescent dye to link targeted immune cells with the elicited immunomodulation of T cells. By expanding the capabilities of FNP, we present a rapid, scalable and reproducible method of nanofabrication for a wide range of nanoarchitectures that are typically challenging to assemble and load with therapeutics for controlled delivery and theranostic strategies.
Project description:The identification of intestinal macrophages (m?s) and dendritic cells (DCs) is a matter of intense debate. Although CD103(+) mononuclear phagocytes (MPs) appear to be genuine DCs, the nature and origins of CD103(-) MPs remain controversial. We show here that intestinal CD103(-)CD11b(+) MPs can be separated clearly into DCs and m?s based on phenotype, gene profile, and kinetics. CD64(-)CD103(-)CD11b(+) MPs are classical DCs, being derived from Flt3 ligand-dependent, DC-committed precursors, not Ly6C(hi) monocytes. Surprisingly, a significant proportion of these CD103(-)CD11b(+) DCs express CCR2 and there is a selective decrease in CD103(-)CD11b(+) DCs in mice lacking this chemokine receptor. CCR2(+)CD103(-) DCs are present in both the murine and human intestine, drive interleukin (IL)-17a production by T cells in vitro, and show constitutive expression of IL-12/IL-23p40. These data highlight the heterogeneity of intestinal DCs and reveal a bona fide population of CCR2(+) DCs that is involved in priming mucosal T helper type 17 (Th17) responses.
Project description:The 150-kD oxygen-regulated protein (ORP150) was initially characterized based on its selective expression in astrocytes subjected to oxygen deprivation (Kuwabara, K., M. Matsumoto, J. Ikeda, O. Hori, S. Ogawa, Y. Maeda, K. Kitagawa, N. Imuta, K. Kinoshita, D.M. Stern, et al. 1996. J. Biol. Chem. 279:5025-5032). We have found that exposure of cultured human aortic smooth muscle cells and mononuclear phagocytes (MPs) to hypoxia (pO2 approximately 12-14 torr) induces ORP150 transcripts and production of the antigen, whereas incubation with either hydrogen peroxide, sodium arsenite, heat shock, or 2-deoxyglucose was without effect. Tissue extracts prepared from human atherosclerotic lesions demonstrated expression of ORP150 mRNA and antigen, vs lack of ORP150 in samples from nonatherosclerotic areas. In situ hybridization using ORP150 riboprobes showed the mRNA to be predominantly [correction of predominately] present in macrophages in in atherosclerotic plaques. Furthermore, autoantibody to ORP150 was demonstrated in the serum of patients with severe atherosclerosis, consistent with inducible in vivo expression of ORP150. Introduction of antisense oligonucleotide for ORP150 selectively diminished hypoxia-mediated induction of ORP150 antigen and reduced the viability of hypoxic MPs, especially in the presence of modified (oxidized/acetylated) LDL. In support of a role for ORP150 in the MPs' response to the microenvironment of an atheroma, the presence of oxidized LDL enhanced by approximately 10-fold ORP150 expression in hypoxic cultures. These data indicate that cells of the atherosclerotic vessel wall express ORP150 as part of a protective mechanism, potentially triggered by local hypoxia/hypoxemia and augmented by modified lipoproteins. The presence of antibody to ORP150 in sera of patients with severe atherosclerosis emphasizes the possibility that ORP150 may be a marker of vascular pathology.
Project description:Dendritic cells (DCs) are specialized antigen?presenting cells which are important in immune diseases, in particular atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disease, however their role in atherosclerosis?associated immunity is unclear. To evaluate the role of DCs in atherosclerosis, exogenous bone marrow?derived DCs were transferred into ApoE?/? mice in the present study. The extent of disease was measured in the aorta and was compared with mice treated with phosphate?buffered saline (PBS) or left untreated and fed a western diet. Mice receiving exogenous DCs demonstrated significantly larger atherosclerotic lesions compared with the mice treated with PBS, with increasing numbers of mature DCs in circulation and enhanced DC infiltration into plaque lesions, in addition to activation of circulating inflammatory components and atherosclerotic lesions. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that exogenous DCs upregulated the expression of Toll?like receptor 4 (TLR4) on DCs, which may be an important mechanism to activate DCs and aggravate atherosclerosis. Therefore the present study concluded that exogenous DCs may induce maturation of endogenous DCs via upregulation of TLR4, further increasing the inflammatory response and accelerating atherosclerosis.
Project description:Mononuclear phagocytes (MPs) including monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs) are critical innate immune effectors and initiators of the adaptive immune response. MPs are present in the alveolar airspace at steady state, however little is known about DC recruitment in acute pulmonary inflammation. Here we use lipopolysaccharide inhalation to induce acute inflammation in healthy volunteers and examine the impact on bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and blood MP repertoire. Classical monocytes and two DC subsets (DC2/3 and DC5) are expanded in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid 8 h after lipopolysaccharide inhalation. Surface phenotyping, gene expression profiling and parallel analysis of blood indicate recruited DCs are blood-derived. Recruited monocytes and DCs rapidly adopt typical airspace-resident MP gene expression profiles. Following lipopolysaccharide inhalation, alveolar macrophages strongly up-regulate cytokines for MP recruitment. Our study defines the characteristics of human DCs and monocytes recruited into bronchoalveolar space immediately following localised acute inflammatory stimulus in vivo.
Project description:Atherosclerosis is a multifactorial inflammatory disease that can progress silently for decades and result in myocardial infarction, stroke, and death. Diagnostic imaging technologies have made great strides to define the degree of atherosclerotic plaque burden through the severity of arterial stenosis. However, current technologies cannot differentiate more lethal "vulnerable plaques," and are not sensitive enough for preventive medicine. Imaging early molecular markers and quantifying the extent of disease progression continues to be a major challenge in the field. To this end, monocyte-targeting, peptide amphiphile micelles (PAMs) are engineered through the incorporation of the chemokine receptor CCR2-binding motif of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and MCP-1 PAMs are evaluated preclinically as diagnostic tools for atherosclerosis. Monocyte-targeting is desirable as the influx of monocytes is a marker of early lesions, accumulation of monocytes is linked to atherosclerosis progression, and rupture-prone plaques have higher numbers of monocytes. MCP-1 PAMs bind to monocytes in vitro, and MCP-1 PAMs detect and discriminate between early- and late-stage atherosclerotic aortas. Moreover, MCP-1 PAMs are found to be eliminated via renal clearance and the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS) without adverse side effects. Thus, MCP-1 PAMs are a promising new class of diagnostic agents capable of monitoring the progression of atherosclerosis.
Project description:Although cardiac and splenic mononuclear phagocytes (MPs), i.e., monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs), are key contributors to cardiac remodeling after myocardial infarction, their role in pressure-overload remodeling is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that these immune cells are required for the progression of remodeling in pressure-overload heart failure (HF), and that MP depletion would ameliorate remodeling.C57BL/6 mice were subjected to transverse aortic constriction (TAC) or sham operation, and assessed for alterations in MPs. As compared with sham, TAC mice exhibited expansion of circulating LyC6hi monocytes and pro-inflammatory CD206- cardiac macrophages early (1 w) after pressure-overload, prior to significant hypertrophy and systolic dysfunction, with subsequent resolution during chronic HF. In contrast, classical DCs were expanded in the heart in a biphasic manner, with peaks both early, analogous to macrophages, and late (8 w), during established HF. There was no significant expansion of circulating DCs, or Ly6C+ monocytes and DCs in the spleen. Periodic systemic MP depletion from 2 to 16 w after TAC in macrophage Fas-induced apoptosis (MaFIA) transgenic mice did not alter cardiac remodeling progression, nor did splenectomy in mice with established HF after TAC. Lastly, adoptive transfer of splenocytes from TAC HF mice into naïve recipients did not induce immediate or long-term cardiac dysfunction in recipient mice.Mononuclear phagocytes populations expand in a phasic manner in the heart during pressure-overload. However, they are dispensable for the progression of remodeling and failure once significant hypertrophy is evident and blood monocytosis has normalized.
Project description:TLR activation on CD11c+ DCs triggers DC maturation, which is critical for T cell activation. Given the expansion of CD11c+ DCs during the progression of atherosclerosis and the key role of T cell activation in atherogenesis, we sought to understand the role of TLR signaling in CD11c+ DCs in atherosclerosis. To this end, we used a mouse model in which a key TLR adaptor involved in DC maturation, MYD88, is deleted in CD11c+ DCs. We transplanted bone marrow containing Myd88-deficient CD11c+ DCs into Western diet-fed LDL receptor knockout mice and found that the transplanted mice had decreased activation of effector T cells in the periphery as well as decreased infiltration of both effector T cells and Tregs in atherosclerotic lesions. Surprisingly, the net effect was an increase in atherosclerotic lesion size due to an increase in the content of myeloid-derived inflammatory cells. The mechanism involves increased lesional monocyte recruitment associated with loss of Treg-mediated suppression of MCP-1. Thus, the dominant effect of MYD88 signaling in CD11c+ DCs in the setting of atherosclerosis is to promote the development of atheroprotective Tregs. In the absence of MYD88 signaling in CD11c+ DCs, the loss of this protective Treg response trumps the loss of proatherogenic T effector cell activation.
Project description:Immune mechanisms are known to control the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. However, the exact role of DCs, which are essential for priming of immune responses, remains elusive. We have shown here that the DC-derived chemokine CCL17 is present in advanced human and mouse atherosclerosis and that CCL17+ DCs accumulate in atherosclerotic lesions. In atherosclerosis-prone mice, Ccl17 deficiency entailed a reduction of atherosclerosis, which was dependent on Tregs. Expression of CCL17 by DCs limited the expansion of Tregs by restricting their maintenance and precipitated atherosclerosis in a mechanism conferred by T cells. Conversely, a blocking antibody specific for CCL17 expanded Tregs and reduced atheroprogression. Our data identify DC-derived CCL17 as a central regulator of Treg homeostasis, implicate DCs and their effector functions in atherogenesis, and suggest that CCL17 might be a target for vascular therapy.
Project description:Atherosclerosis is characterized by the retention of modified lipoproteins in the arterial wall. These modified lipoproteins activate resident macrophages and the recruitment of monocyte-derived cells, which differentiate into mononuclear phagocytes that ingest the deposited lipoproteins to become "foam cells": a hallmark of this disease. In this Part 2 of a 4-part review series covering the macrophage in cardiovascular disease, we critically review the contributions and relevant pathobiology of monocytes, macrophages, and foam cells as relevant to atherosclerosis. We also review evidence that via various pathways, a failure of the resolution of inflammation is an additional key aspect of this disease process. Finally, we consider the likely role played by genomics and biological networks in controlling the macrophage phenotype in atherosclerosis. Collectively, these data provide substantial insights on the atherosclerotic process, while concurrently offering numerous molecular and genomic candidates that appear to hold great promise for selective targeting as clinical therapies.