Research ArticleIMMUNOLOGY

The pore size of mesoporous silica nanoparticles regulates their antigen delivery efficiency

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Science Advances  19 Jun 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 25, eaaz4462
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz4462


Subunit vaccines generally proceed through a 4-step in vivo cascade—the DUMP cascade—to generate potent cell-mediated immune responses: (1) drainage to lymph nodes; (2) uptake by dendritic cells (DCs); (3) maturation of DCs; and (4) Presentation of peptide-MHC I complexes to CD8+ T cells. How the physical properties of vaccine carriers such as mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) influence this cascade is unclear. We fabricated 80-nm MSNs with different pore sizes (7.8 nm, 10.3 nm, and 12.9 nm) and loaded them with ovalbumin antigen. Results demonstrated these MSNs with different pore sizes were equally effective in the first three steps of the DUMP cascade, but those with larger pores showed higher cross-presentation efficiency (step 4). Consistently, large-pore MSNs loaded with B16F10 tumor antigens yielded the strongest antitumor effects. These results demonstrate the promise of our lymph node-targeting large-pore MSNs as vaccine-delivery vehicles for immune activation and cancer vaccination.

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