Metformin Liposome-Mediated PD-L1 Downregulation for Amplifying the Photodynamic Immunotherapy Efficacy.


Xiong W(1), Qi L(1), Jiang N(2)(3), Zhao Q(2)(3), Chen L(1), Jiang X(1), Li Y(1), Zhou Z(2)(3), Shen J(2)(3).
Author information:
(1)Department of Urology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha 410008, China.
(2)State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Optometry and Vision Science, School of Ophthalmology and Optometry, School of Biomedical Engineering, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325027, China.
(3)Wenzhou Institute, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wenzhou 325001, China.


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising strategy for cancer treatment. It can not only generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) to cause the chemical damage of tumor cells in the presence of enough oxygen but also promote the antitumor immunity of T cells through enhancing the production of interferon γ (IFN-γ). However, one phenomenon is ignored so far that the enhanced production of IFN-γ caused by PDT may significantly increase the expression of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) on the tumor cell membrane and thus could inhibit the immune killing effects of T cells. Herein, we report the construction of a composite by loading metformin (Met) and IR775 into a clinically usable liposome as a two-in-one nanoplatform (IR775@Met@Lip) to solve this problem. The IR775@Met@Lip could reverse tumor hypoxia to enhance ROS production to elicit more chemical damage. Besides, the overexpression of PD-L1 by PDT was also effectively down-regulated. These therapeutic benefits including decreased PD-L1 expression, alleviated T cell exhaustion, and reversed tumor hypoxia successfully suppressed both the primary and abscopal tumor growth in bladder and colon cancers, respectively. Combining with its excellent biocompatibility, our results indicate that this IR775@Met@Lip system has great potential to become a highly effective cancer therapy modality.