Role of carbohydrate receptors in the macrophage uptake of dextran-coated iron oxide nanoparticles.
ABSTRACT Superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO, Ferumoxides, Feridex), an important MRI intravenous contrast reagent, is efficiently recognized and eliminated by macrophages in the liver, spleen, lymph nodes and atherosclerotic lesions. The receptors that recognize nanoparticles are poorly defined and understood. Since SPIO is coated with bacterial polysaccharide dextran, it is important to know whether carbohydrate recognition plays a role in nanoparticle uptake by macrophages. Lectin-like receptors CD206 (macrophage mannose receptor) and SIGNR1 were previously shown to mediate uptake of bacterial polysaccharides. We transiently expressed receptors MGL-1, SIGNR-1 and msDectin-1 in non-macrophage 293T cells using lipofection. The expression was confirmed by reverse transcription PCR. Following incubation with the nanoparticles, the uptake in receptor-expressing cells was not statistically different compared to control cells (GFP-transfected). At the same time, expression of scavenger receptor SR-A1 increased the uptake of nanoparticles three-fold compared to GFP-transfected and control vector-transfected cells. Blocking CD206 with anti-CD206 antibody or with the ligand mannan did not affect SPIO uptake by J774.A1 macrophages. Similarly, there was no inhibition of the uptake by anti-CD11b (Mac-1 integrin) antibody. Polyanionic scavenger receptor ligands heparin, polyinosinic acid, fucoidan and dextran sulfate decreased the uptake of SPIO by J774A.1 macrophages and Kupffer cells by 60-75%. These data unambiguously show that SPIO is taken up via interaction by scavenger receptors, but not via dextran recognition by carbohydrate receptors. Understanding of nanoparticle-receptor interaction can provide guidance for the design of long circulating, non-toxic nanomedicines.