Despite recent breakthroughs in melanoma treatment with anti-PD-1 immunotherapy, innovative approaches are needed to improve off-target effects. In this study, we report a T cell mimetic microparticle delivery of soluble PD1 aiming at providing a carrier substrate for future combinatorial and targeting efforts. Microparticles of sizes varying from (5 μm to-7 μm) were conjugated with soluble mouse or human PD-1 through nearly irreversible binding between streptavidin and biotin. PD-1 conjugated microparticles (PDMPs) suppressed 3-dimensional tumor growth of human A375 and mouse B16-F10 melanoma cells compared to control microparticles conjugated with the Fc portion of human IgG1 (IgG1MPs). This can be attributed to competitive inhibition by PDMPs on a melanoma cell-intrinsic PD-1/PD-L1 pathway. A single, local administration of mPDMPs in a B16-F10 mouse melanoma model inhibited tumor growth significantly compared to control IgMPs at the same dose. CD45+ immune cells were found to infiltrate tumors treated with mPDMPs as a mechanism for tumor control. These results collectively suggest that PDMPs can target the melanoma cell-intrinsic PD-1/PD-L1 pathway and that these artificial T cell mimetics can be the scaffold for further improvements in anti-tumor immunotherapy.
Keywords: Melanoma; Microparticles; PD-1; T cell mimetics.