Optimization of liposomes for antigen targeting to splenic cd169+ macrophages

Maarten K. Nijen Twilhaar, Lucas Czentner, Joanna Grabowska, Alsya J. Affandi, Chun Yin Jerry Lau, Katarzyna Olesek, Hakan Kalay, Cornelus F. van Nostrum, Yvette van Kooyk, Gert Storm, Joke M.M. Den Haan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
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Despite promising progress in cancer vaccination, therapeutic effectiveness is often insufficient. Cancer vaccine effectiveness could be enhanced by targeting vaccine antigens to antigen-presenting cells, thereby increasing T-cell activation. CD169-expressing splenic macrophages efficiently capture particulate antigens from the blood and transfer these antigens to dendritic cells for the activation of CD8+ T cells. In this study, we incorporated a physiological ligand for CD169, the ganglioside GM3, into liposomes to enhance liposome uptake by CD169+ macrophages. We assessed how variation in the amount of GM3, surface-attached PEG and liposomal size affected the binding to, and uptake by, CD169+ macrophages in vitro and in vivo. As a proof of concept, we prepared GM3-targeted liposomes containing a long synthetic ovalbumin peptide and tested the capacity of these liposomes to induce CD8+ and CD4+ T-cell responses compared to control liposomes or soluble peptide. The data indicate that the delivery of liposomes to splenic CD169+ macrophages can be optimized by the selection of liposomal constituents and liposomal size. Moreover, optimized GM3-mediated liposomal targeting to CD169+ macrophages induces potent immune responses and therefore presents as an interesting delivery strategy for cancer vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1138
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2020


  • Cancer vaccination
  • CD169
  • GM3
  • Liposome
  • Macrophage
  • Sialoadhesin
  • Siglec-1
  • T cells
  • Targeting


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