Targeting of immunosuppressive myeloid cells from glioblastoma patients by modulation of size and surface charge of lipid nanocapsules

Laura Pinton, Sara Magri, Elena Masetto, Marina Vettore, Ilaria Schibuola, Vincenzo Ingangi, Ilaria Marigo, Kevin Matha, Jean Pierre Benoit, Alessandro Della Puppa, Vincenzo Bronte, Giovanna Lollo, Susanna Mandruzzato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are two of the major players involved in the inhibition of anti-tumor immune response in cancer patients, leading to poor prognosis. Selective targeting of myeloid cells has therefore become an attractive therapeutic strategy to relieve immunosuppression and, in this frame, we previously demonstrated that lipid nanocapsules (LNCs) loaded with lauroyl-modified gemcitabine efficiently target monocytic MDSCs in melanoma patients. In this study, we investigated the impact of the physico-chemical characteristics of LNCs, namely size and surface potential, towards immunosuppressive cell targeting. We exploited myeloid cells isolated from glioblastoma patients, which play a relevant role in the immunosuppression, to demonstrate that tailored nanosystems can target not only tumor cells but also tumor-promoting cells, thus constituting an efficient system that could be used to inhibit their function. Results: The incorporation of different LNC formulations with a size of 100 nm, carrying overall positive, neutral or negative charge, was evaluated on leukocytes and tumor-infiltrating cells freshly isolated from glioblastoma patients. We observed that the maximum LNC uptake was obtained in monocytes with neutral 100 nm LNCs, while positively charged 100 nm LNCs were more effective on macrophages and tumor cells, maintaining at low level the incorporation by T cells. The mechanism of uptake was elucidated, demonstrating that LNCs are incorporated mainly by caveolae-mediated endocytosis. Conclusions: We demonstrated that LNCs can be directed towards immunosuppressive cells by simply modulating their size and charge thus providing a novel approach to exploit nanosystems for anticancer treatment in the frame of immunotherapy.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Nanobiotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 17 2020


  • Glioma
  • Immunosuppression
  • Lipid nanocapsules
  • Myeloid cells
  • Myeloid derived suppressor cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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