Activation of human complement system by dextran-coated iron oxide nanoparticles is not affected by dextran/Fe ratio, hydroxyl modifications, and crosslinking

Guankui Wang, Fangfang Chen, Nirmal K. Banda, V. Michael Holers, Lin Ping Wu, S. Moein Moghimi, Dmitri Simberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

While having tremendous potential as therapeutic and imaging tools, the clinical use of engineered nanoparticles has been associated with serious safety concerns. Activation of the complement cascade and the release of proinflammatory factors C3a and C5a may contribute to infusion-related reactions, whereas opsonization with C3 fragments promotes rapid recognition and clearance of nanomaterials by mononuclear phagocytes. We used dextran-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIO), which are potent activators of the complement system, to study the role of nanoparticle surface chemistry in inciting complement in human serum. Using complement inhibitors and measuring levels of fluid phase markers (sC5b-9, C5a, and Bb), we found that the majority of human complement activation by SPIO is through the alternative pathways (AP). SPIO prepared with high dextran/iron ratio showed some complement activation via calcium-sensitive pathways, but the AP was responsible for the bulk of complement activation and amplification. Activation via the AP required properdin, the positive regulator of the alternative C3bBb convertase. Modification of sugar alcohols of dextran with alkylating, acylating, or crosslinking agents did not overcome complement activation and C3 opsonization. These data demonstrate that human complement activation is independent of dextran modification of SPIO and suggest a crucial role of the AP in immune recognition of nano-assemblies in human serum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number418
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Volume7
Issue numberOCT
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 10 2016

Keywords

  • Alternative pathway of complement
  • Complement C3
  • Complement system proteins
  • Dextran
  • Iron oxide nanoparticles
  • Lectin pathway
  • Properdin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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