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J Neuroimmunol. 2009 Mar 31;208(1-2):3-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2008.12.006. Epub 2009 Jan 31.

Selective uptake of multi-walled carbon nanotubes by tumor macrophages in a murine glioma model.

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Division of Neurosurgery, City of Hope Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.


Carbon nantotubes (CNTs) are emerging as a new family of nanovectors for drug and gene delivery into biological systems. To evaluate potential application of this technology for brain tumor therapy, we studied uptake and toxicity of multi-walled CNTs (MWCNTs) in the GL261 murine intracranial glioma model. Within 24 h of a single intratumoral injection of labeled MWCNTs (5 microg), nearly 10-20% of total cells demonstrated CNT internalization. Most CNT uptake, however, occurred by tumor-associated macrophages (MP), which accounted for most (75%) MWCNT-positive cells. Within 24 h of injection, nearly 30% of tumor MP became MWCNT-positive. Despite a transient increase in inflammatory cell infiltration into both normal and tumor-bearing brains following MWCNT injection, no significant toxicity was noted in mice, and minor changes in tumor cytokine expression were observed. This study suggests that MWCNTs could potentially be used as a novel and non-toxic vehicle for targeting MP in brain tumors.

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