Yan Liu, Yu Hao, Jiahui Chen, Minming Chen, Jia Tian, Xiang Lv, Yefei Zhang, Xinxing Ma, Yehui Zhou, Liangzhu Feng

An Injectable Puerarin Depot Can Potentiate Chimeric Antigen Receptor Natural Killer Cell Immunotherapy Against Targeted Solid Tumors by Reversing Tumor Immunosuppression

  • Biomaterials
  • Biotechnology
  • General Materials Science
  • General Chemistry

AbstractChimeric antigen receptor natural killer (CAR‐NK) cell therapy represents a potent approach to suppressing tumor growth because it has simultaneously inherited the specificity of CAR and the intrinsic generality of NK cells in recognizing cancer cells. However, its therapeutic potency against solid tumors is still restricted by insufficient tumor infiltration, immunosuppressive tumor microenvironments, and many other biological barriers. Motivated by the high potency of puerarin, a traditional Chinese medicine extract, in dilating tumor blood vessels, an injectable puerarin depot based on a hydrogen peroxide‐responsive hydrogel comprising poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate and ferrous chloride is concisely developed. Upon intratumoral fixation, the as‐prepared puerarin depot (abbreviated as puerarin@PEGel) can activate nitrogen oxide production inside endothelial cells and thus dilate tumor blood vessels to relieve tumor hypoxia and reverse tumor immunosuppression. Such treatment can thus promote tumor infiltration, survival, and effector functions of customized epidermal growth factor receptor (HER1)‐targeted HER1‐CAR‐NK cells after intravenous administration. Consequently, such puerarin@PEGel‐assisted HER1‐CAR‐NK cell treatment exhibits superior tumor suppression efficacy toward both HER1‐overexpressing MDA‐MB‐468 and NCI‐H23 human tumor xenografts in mice without inducing obvious side effects. This study highlights a potent strategy to activate CAR‐NK cells for augmented treatment of targeted solid tumors through reprogramming tumor immunosuppression.

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