We hypothesized that the co-entrapment of melanoma-associated antigens and the Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands Poly(I:C) and CpG, known to be Th1-immunopotentiators, in mannose-functionalized aliphatic polyester-based nanoparticles (NPs) could be targeted to mannose receptors on antigen-presenting cells and induce anti-tumor immune responses. High entrapment efficiencies of antigens and immunopotentiators in 150nm NPs were obtained. The co-entrapment of the model antigen ovalbumin and the TLR ligands was crucial to induce high IgG2c/IgG1 ratios and high levels of IFN-γ and IL-2. Mannose-functionalization of NPs potentiated the Th1 immune response. The nanoparticulate vaccines decreased the growth rate of murine B16F10 melanoma tumors in therapeutic and prophylatic settings. The combination of mannose-functionalized NPs containing MHC class I- or class II-restricted melanoma antigens and the TLR ligands induced the highest tumor growth delay. Overall, we demonstrate that the multifunctional properties of NPs in terms of targeting and antigen/adjuvant delivery have high cancer immunotherapeutic potential.
Keywords: Antigen presenting cells; Cancer vaccine; Mannose receptor targeting; Melanoma; Nanoparticles; PLGA; TLR.
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