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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 25;8(6):e65896. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065896. Print 2013.

Hydrazinocurcumin Encapsuled nanoparticles "re-educate" tumor-associated macrophages and exhibit anti-tumor effects on breast cancer following STAT3 suppression.

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Key Laboratory of Diagnostic Medicine Designated by the Ministry of Education, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China.


Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are essential cellular components within tumor microenvironment (TME). TAMs are educated by TME to transform to M2 polarized population, showing a M2-like phenotype, IL-10(high), IL-12(low), TGF-β(high). STAT3 signaling triggers crosstalk between tumor cells and TAMs, and is crucial for the regulation of malignant progression. In our study, legumain-targeting liposomal nanoparticles (NPs) encapsulating HC were employed to suppress STAT3 activity and "re-educate" TAMs, and to investigate the effects of suppression of tumor progression in vivo. The results showed that TAMs treated by HC encapsuled NPs could switch to M1-like phenotype, IL-10(low), IL-12(high), TGF-β(low), and the "re-educated" macrophages (M1-like macrophages) considerably demonstrated opposite effect of M2-like macrophages, especially the induction of 4T1 cells migration and invasion in vitro, and suppression of tumor growth, angiogenesis and metastasis in vivo. These data indicated that inhibition of STAT3 activity of TAMs by HC-NPs was able to reverse their phenotype and could regulate their crosstalk between tumor cells and TAMs in order to suppress tumor progression.

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