The effect of Gd@C82(OH)22 nanoparticles on the release of Th1/Th2 cytokines and induction of TNF-α mediated cellular immunity

Ying Liu, Fang Jiao, Yang Qiu, Wei Li, Fang Lao, Guoqiang Zhou, Baoyun Sun, Genmei Xing, Jinquan Dong, Yuliang Zhao, Zhifang Chai, Chunying Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

194 Scopus citations


It is known that down-regulation of the immune response may be associated with the progenesis, development and prognosis of cancer or infectious diseases. Up-regulating the immune response in vivo is therefore a desirable strategy for clinical treatment. Here we report that poly-hydroxylated metallofullerenol (Gd@C82(OH)22) has biomedical functions useful in anticancer therapy arising from immunomodulatory effects observed both in vivo and in vitro. We found that metallofullerenol can inhibit the growth of tumors, and shows specific immunomodulatory effects on T cells and macrophages. These effects include polarizing the cytokine balance towards Th1 (T-helper cell type 1) cytokines, decreasing the production of Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5 and IL-6), and increasing the production of Th1 cytokines (IL-2, IFN-γ and TNF-α) in the serum samples. Immune-system regulation by this nanomaterial showed dose-dependent behavior: at a low concentration, Gd@C82(OH)22 nanoparticles slightly affected the activity of immune cells in vitro, while at a high concentration, they markedly enhanced immune responses and stimulated immune cells to release more cytokines, helping eliminate abnormal cells. Gd@C82(OH)22 nanoparticles stimulated T cells and macrophages to release significantly greater quantities of TNF-α, which plays a key role in cellular immune processes. Gd@C82(OH)22 nanoparticles are more effective in inhibiting tumor growth in mice than some clinical anticancer drugs but have negligible side effects. The underlying mechanism for high anticancer activity may be attributed to the fact that this water-soluble nanomaterial effectively triggers the host immune system to scavenge tumor cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3934-3945
Number of pages12
Issue number23-24
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Cytotoxicity
  • Immune response
  • Macrophage
  • Nanoparticle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Biophysics


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