Targeted delivery of ibrutinib to tumor-associated macrophages by sialic acid-stearic acid conjugate modified nanocomplexes for cancer immunotherapy.

Affiliation

College of Pharmacy, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, 103 Wenhua Road, Shenyang, Liaoning 110016, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Ibrutinib (IBR), an irreversible Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, is expected to be a potent therapeutic modality, given that BTK is overexpressed in tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and participates in promoting tumor progression, angiogenesis, and immunosuppression. However, rapid clearance in vivo and low tumor accumulation have rendered effective uptake of IBR by TAMs challenge. Herein, we designed and synthesized a sialic acid (SA)-stearic acid conjugate modified on the surface of nanocomplexes to encapsulate IBR (SA/IBR/EPG) for targeted immunotherapy. Amphiphilic egg phosphatidylglycerol (EPG) structure and strong IBR-EPG interactions render these nanocomplexes high IBR loading capacity, prolonged blood circulation, and optimal particle sizes (∼30 nm), which can effectively deliver IBR to the tumor, followed by subsequent internalization of IBR by TAMs through SA-mediated active targeting. In vitro and in vivo tests showed that the prepared SA/IBR/EPG nanocomplexes could preferentially accumulate in TAMs and exert potent antitumor activity. Immunofluorescence staining analysis further confirmed that SA/IBR/EPG remarkably inhibited angiogenesis and tumorigenic cytokines released by TAM and eventually suppressed tumor progression, without eliciting any unwanted effect. Thus, SA-decorated IBR nanocomplexes present a promising strategy for cancer immunotherapy. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Ibrutinib (IBR), an irreversible Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, is expected to be a potent therapeutic modality, given that BTK is overexpressed in tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and participates in promoting tumor progression, angiogenesis, and immunosuppression. However, rapid clearance in vivo and low tumor accumulation have rendered effective uptake of IBR by TAMs challenge. Herein, we designed and synthesized a sialic acid (SA)-stearic acid conjugate modified on the surface of nanocomplexes to encapsulate IBR (SA/IBR/EPG) for targeted delivery of IBR to TAMs. The developed SA/IBR/EPG nanocomplexes exhibited high efficiency in targeting TAMs and inhibiting BTK activation, consequently inhibiting Th2 tumorigenic cytokine release, reducing angiogenesis, and suppressing tumor growth. These results implied that the SA/IBR/EPG nanocomplex could be a promising strategy for TAM-targeting immunotherapy with minimal systemic side effects.

Keywords

Ibrutinib,Immunotherapy,Nanocomplexes,Sialic acid,Tumor-associated macrophages,