Blockade of CTLA-4 increases anti-tumor response inducing potential of dendritic cell vaccine

PMID: 32580042
Journal: Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society (volume: 326, issue: , J Control Release 2020 Jun;326:63-74)
Published: 2020-06-21

Esmaily M, Masjedi A, Hallaj S, Nabi Afjadi M, Malakotikhah F, Ghani S, Ahmadi A, Sojoodi M, Hassannia H, Atyabi F, Namdar A, Azizi G, Ghalamfarsa G, Jadidi-Niaragh F


The immunosuppressive state of the tumor microenvironment diminishes the efficacy of dendritic cell (DC)-based cancer immunotherapy. Inhibitory immune checkpoint molecules expressed on tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes, such as cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) molecules are one of the main barriers in priming T cells by DCs. Therefore, it seems that blockade of such molecules facilitates the T cells activation by the DC vaccine. In this study, we intended to suppress the expression of CTLA-4 molecule on tumor-infiltrating T cells by siRNA-loaded chitosan-lactate (CL) nanoparticles to facilitate priming anti- tumor T cells by tumor lysate-loaded DC vaccine. Nanoparticles (NPs) have also provided an opportunity for specific drug delivery into the tumor site. CL NPs exhibited favorable physicochemical characteristics (size about 75 nm, polydispersive index<0.2, and a zeta potential about 14), which were associated with a high transfection rate and low toxicity. Moreover, the administration of anti-CTLA-4 siRNA-loaded NPs into CT26 and 4 T1 tumor -bearing mice led to the downregulation of CTLA-4 on tumor -infiltrating T cells, which was associated with tumor regression and increased mice survival. Moreover, while the treatment of tumor -bearing mice with DC vaccine had mild therapeutic outcomes, its combination with siRNA-loaded NPs may exhibit synergistic anti- tumor effects. This possible synergistic ameliorating effect is achieved through the reduction of immunosuppressive cells, the improved cytotoxicity of T lymphocytes, decreased inhibitory and increased inflammatory cytokines, and reduced angiogenesis and metastasis processes. These results indicate that the silencing of CTLA-4 can potentiate the T cell priming capacity of the DC vaccine, proposing a practical anti-cancer therapeutic approach.