Nanoparticle Properties Influence Transendothelial Migration of Monocytes


Habibi N, Brown TD, Adu-Berchie K, Christau S, Raymond JE, Mooney DJ, Mitragotri S, Lahann J. Nanoparticle Properties Influence Transendothelial Migration of Monocytes. Langmuir. 2022.

Date Published:

2022 Apr 21


Nanoparticle-based delivery of therapeutics to the brain has had limited clinical impact due to challenges crossing the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Certain cells, such as monocytes, possess the ability to migrate across the BBB, making them attractive candidates for cell-based brain delivery strategies. In this work, we explore nanoparticle design parameters that impact both monocyte association and monocyte-mediated BBB transport. We use electrohydrodynamic jetting to prepare nanoparticles of varying sizes, compositions, and elasticity to address their impact on uptake by THP-1 monocytes and permeation across the BBB. An in vitro human BBB model is developed using human cerebral microvascular endothelial cells (hCMEC/D3) for the assessment of migration. We compare monocyte uptake of both polymeric and synthetic protein nanoparticles (SPNPs) of various sizes, as well as their effect on cell migration. SPNPs (human serum albumin/HSA or human transferrin/TF) are shown to promote increased monocyte-mediated transport across the BBB over polymeric nanoparticles. TF SPNPs (200 nm) associate readily, with an average uptake of 138 particles/cell. Nanoparticle loading is shown to influence the migration of THP-1 monocytes. The migration of monocytes loaded with 200 nm TF and 200 nm HSA SPNPs was 2.3-fold and 2.1-fold higher than that of an untreated control. RNA-seq analysis after TF SPNP treatment suggests that the upregulation of several migration genes may be implicated in increased monocyte migration (ex. integrin subunits α M and α L). Integrin β 2 chain combines with either integrin subunit α M chain or integrin subunit α L chain to form macrophage antigen 1 and lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 integrins. Both products play a pivotal role in the transendothelial migration cascade. Our findings highlight the potential of SPNPs as drug and/or gene delivery platforms for monocyte-mediated BBB transport, especially where conventional polymer nanoparticles are ineffective or otherwise not desirable.