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Specifically targeted delivery of protein to phagocytic macrophages


Min Yu, Zhangyong Hong et al.


International Journal of Nanomedicine 2015,10, 1743–1757


Macrophages play important roles in the pathogenesis of various diseases, and are important potential therapeutic targets. Furthermore, macrophages are key antigen-presenting cells and important in vaccine design. In this study, we report on the novel formulation (bovine serum albumin [BSA]-loaded glucan particles [GMP-BSA]) based on β-glucan particles from cell walls of baker’s yeast for the targeted delivery of protein to macrophages. Using this formulation, chitosan, tripolyphosphate, and alginate were used to fabricate colloidal particles with the model protein BSA via electrostatic interactions, which were caged and incorporated BSA very tightly within the β-glucan particle shells. The prepared GMP-BSA exhibited good protein-release behavior and avoided protein leakage. The particles were also highly specific to phagocytic macrophages, such as Raw 264.7 cells, primary bone marrow-derived macrophages, and peritoneal exudate macrophages, whereas the particles were not taken up by nonphagocytic cells, including NIH3T3, AD293, HeLa, and Caco-2. We hypothesize that these tightly encapsulated protein-loaded glucan particles deliver various types of proteins to macrophages with notably high selectivity, and may have broad applications in targeted drug delivery or vaccine design against macrophages.