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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01998

Nanoparticles Targeting Macrophages as Potential Clinical Therapeutic Agents against Cancer and Inflammation

  • 1Wuhan Union Hospital, China

With the development of nanotechnology, significant progress has been made in the design and manufacture of nanoparticles (NPs) for use in clinical treatments. Meanwhile, recent increases in our understanding of the central role of the macrophages in the context of inflammation and cancer have reinvigorated interest in macrophages as a drug target. Macrophages serve an integral role in maintaining the steady state of the immune system and are involved in the processes of cancer and inflammation. Thus, nanoparticles tailored as needed to accurately target macrophages have the potential to transform disease treatment. Herein, we firstly present a brief background information of NPs as drug carriers including but not limited to types of nanomaterial, their biological properties and their advantages in clinical application. Then macrophage effector mechanisms and recent NP-based strategies aiming at targeting macrophages by eliminating or re-educating macrophages in inflammation and cancer are summarized. Additionally, the development of nano-carriers targeting macrophages for disease diagnosis are also discussed. Finally, the significance of macrophage-targeting nanomedicine is highlighted, with the goal of facilitating future clinical translation.

Keywords: Macrophages, Nanoparticles, Drug delivery, Inflammation, tumor

Received: 30 May 2019; Accepted: 07 Aug 2019.

Edited by:

Mustafa Diken, Translationale Onkologie an der Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany

Reviewed by:

Dan Peer, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Lutz Nuhn, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG), Germany  

Copyright: © 2019 Jin, Hu, Guo, Xu, Wu, Fan, Huang, Yang, Lv and Wang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Yang Jin, Wuhan Union Hospital, Wuhan, 430072, Hubei Province, China, whuhjy@126.com