Macrophages, one of the most important phagocytic cells of the immune system, are highly plastic and are known to exhibit diverse roles under different pathological conditions. The ability to repolarize macrophages from pro-inflammatory (M1) to anti-inflammatory (M2) or vice versa offers a promising therapeutic approach for treating various diseases such as traumatic injury and cancer. Herein, it is demonstrated that macrophage-engineered vesicles (MEVs) generated by disruption of macrophage cellular membranes can be used as nanocarriers capable of reprogramming macrophages and microglia toward either pro- or anti-inflammatory phenotypes. MEVs can be produced at high yields and easily loaded with diagnostic molecules or chemotherapeutics and delivered to both macrophages and cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Overall, MEVs show promise as potential delivery vehicles for both therapeutics and their ability to controllably modulate macrophage/microglia inflammatory phenotypes.

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Published in ACS Omega, v. 6, issue 5.

© 2021 The Authors

This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial No-Derivative Works (CC-BY-NC-ND) Attribution License, which permits copying and redistribution of the article, and creation of adaptations, all for non-commercial purposes.

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Support for this work was provided by the Kentucky Pediatric Cancer Research Trust Fund (PON2 728 2000002500).

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The Supporting Information is available free of charge at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsomega.0c05632. It is also available for download as the additional file listed at the end of this record.

ao0c05632_si_001.pdf (1236 kB)
Vesicle delivery and cytokine production