Biomedical nanoparticles modulate specific CD4+ T cell stimulation by inhibition of antigen processing in dendritic cells
Understanding how nanoparticles may affect immune responses is an essential prerequisite to developing novel clinical applications. To investigate nanoparticle-dependent outcomes on immune responses, dendritic cells (DCs) were treated with model biomedical poly(vinylalcohol)-coated super-paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (PVA-SPIONs). PVA-SPIONs uptake by human monocyte-derived DCs (MDDCs) was analyzed by flow cytometry (FACS) and advanced imaging techniques. Viability, activation, function, and stimulatory capacity of MDDCs were assessed by FACS and an in vitro CD4+ T cell assay. PVA-SPION uptake was dose-dependent, decreased by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced MDDC maturation at higher particle concentrations, and was inhibited by cytochalasin D pre-treatment. PVA-SPIONs did not alter surface marker expression (CD80, CD83, CD86, myeloid/plasmacytoid DC markers) or antigen-uptake, but decreased the capacity of MDDCs to process antigen, stimulate CD4+ T cells, and induce cytokines. The decreased antigen processing and CD4+ T cell stimulation capability of MDDCs following PVA-SPION treatment suggests that MDDCs may revert to a more functionally immature state following particle exposure.