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Transcutaneous Codelivery of Tumor Antigen and Resiquimod in Solid-in-Oil Nanodispersions Promotes Antitumor Immunity

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posted on 18.04.2019 by Rie Wakabayashi, Hidetoshi Kono, Shuto Kozaka, Yoshiro Tahara, Noriho Kamiya, Masahiro Goto
Cancer vaccines aim to prevent or inhibit tumor growth by inducing an immune response to tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) encoded by or present in the vaccine. Previous work has demonstrated that effective antitumor immunity can be induced using a codelivery system in which nonspecific immunostimulatory molecules are administered together with TAAs. In this study, we investigated the antitumor effects of a solid-in-oil (S/O) nanodispersion system containing a model TAA, ovalbumin (OVA), and resiquimod (R-848), a small molecular Toll-like receptor 7/8 ligand, which induces an antigen-nonspecific cellular immune response that is crucial for the efficacy of cancer vaccines. R-848 was contained in the outer oil phase of S/O nanodispersion. Analysis of OVA and R-848 permeation in mouse skin after application of an R-848 S/O nanodispersion indicated that R-848 rapidly permeated the skin and preactivated Langerhans cells, resulting in efficient uptake of OVA and migration of antigen-loaded Langerhans cells to the draining lymph nodes. Transcutaneous immunization of mice with an R-848 S/O nanodispersion inhibited the growth of E.G7-OVA tumors and prolonged mouse survival to a greater extent than did immunization with an S/O nanodispersion containing OVA alone. Consistent with this observation, antigen-specific secretion of the Th1 cytokine interferon-γ and cytolytic activity were both high in splenocytes isolated from mice immunized with R-848 S/O. Our results thus demonstrate that codelivery of R-848 significantly amplified the antitumor immune response induced by antigen-containing S/O nanodispersions and further suggest that S/O nanodispersions may be effective formulations for codelivery of TAAs and R-848 in transcutaneous cancer vaccines.

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