Functional Exosome-Mediated Delivery of Triptolide Endowed with Targeting Properties as Chemotherapy Carriers for Ovarian Carcinoma

J Biomed Nanotechnol. 2021 Mar 1;17(3):426-438. doi: 10.1166/jbn.2021.3041.


Ovarian cancer has been the most lethal gynaecological malignancy worldwide. Additionally, triptolide is an active substance that has been extracted from the Chinese herbal medicine T. wilfordii Hook F. , which possesses anti-tumor, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. In recent years, TP has attracted increasing attention because of its broad-spectrum efficient anti-tumor activity. Nevertheless, its clinical utility is limited due to its severe side effects. In this study, we constructed an exosome-encapsulated TP targeted drug delivery systems, studying its anti-tumor effects and mechanisms in vivo and in vitro . We observed that compared with free TP, TP-Exos significantly enhanced anti-ovarian cancer effects and reduce toxicity to important organs. We further demonstrated that TP-Exos induced apoptosis of ovarian cancer cells, regulated tumor immunity by activating the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway and selectively inhibited M2 tumor-associated macrophages and their tumor-promoting mediators in the tumor microenvironment. In summary, TP-Exos are a promising treatment for ovarian cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Diterpenes*
  • Epoxy Compounds
  • Exosomes*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Phenanthrenes*
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Diterpenes
  • Epoxy Compounds
  • Phenanthrenes
  • triptolide