PH-degradable imidazoquinoline-ligated nanogels for lymph node-focused immune activation

Lutz Nuhn, Nane Vanparijs, Ans De Beuckelaer, Lien Lybaert, Glenn Verstraete, Kim Deswarte, Stefan Lienenklaus, Nikunj M. Shukla, Alex C.D. Salyer, Bart N. Lambrecht, Johan Grooten, Sunil A. David, Stefaan De Koker, Bruno G. De Geest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Scopus citations

Abstract

Agonists of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are potent activators of the innate immune system and hold promise as vaccine adjuvant and for anticancer immunotherapy. Unfortunately, in soluble form they readily enter systemic circulation and cause systemic inflammatory toxicity. Here we demonstrate that by covalent ligation of a smallmolecule imidazoquinoline-based TLR7/8 agonist to 50-nm-sized degradable polymeric nanogels the potency of the agonist to activate TLR7/8 in in vitro cultured dendritic cells is largely retained. Importantly, imidazoquinoline-ligated nanogels focused the in vivo immune activation on the draining lymph nodes while dramatically reducing systemic inflammation. Mechanistic studies revealed a prevalent passive diffusion of the nanogels to the draining lymph node. Moreover, immunization studies in mice have shown that relative to soluble TLR7/8 agonist, imidazoquinoline-ligated nanogels induce superior antibody and T-cell responses against a tuberculosis antigen. This approach opens possibilities to enhance the therapeutic benefit of small-molecule TLR agonist for a variety of applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8098-8103
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume113
Issue number29
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 19 2016

Keywords

  • Dendritic cells
  • Lymph node
  • Nanotechnology
  • Toll-like receptor
  • Vaccine

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    Nuhn, L., Vanparijs, N., De Beuckelaer, A., Lybaert, L., Verstraete, G., Deswarte, K., Lienenklaus, S., Shukla, N. M., Salyer, A. C. D., Lambrecht, B. N., Grooten, J., David, S. A., De Koker, S., & De Geest, B. G. (2016). PH-degradable imidazoquinoline-ligated nanogels for lymph node-focused immune activation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(29), 8098-8103. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1600816113