Use of oxygen-loaded nanobubbles to improve tissue oxygenation: Bone-relevant mechanisms of action and effects on osteoclast differentiation.
Knowles HJ., Vasilyeva A., Sheth M., Pattinson O., May J., Rumney RMH., Hulley PA., Richards DB., Carugo D., Evans ND., Stride E.
Gas-loaded nanobubbles have potential as a method of oxygen delivery to increase tumour oxygenation and therapeutically alleviate tumour hypoxia. However, the mechanism(s) whereby oxygen-loaded nanobubbles increase tumour oxygenation are unknown; with their calculated oxygen-carrying capacity being insufficient to explain this effect. Intra-tumoural hypoxia is a prime therapeutic target, at least partly due to hypoxia-dependent stimulation of the formation and function of bone-resorbing osteoclasts which establish metastatic cells in bone. This study aims to investigate potential mechanism(s) of oxygen delivery and in particular the possible use of oxygen-loaded nanobubbles in preventing bone metastasis via effects on osteoclasts. Lecithin-based nanobubbles preferentially interacted with phagocytic cells (monocytes, osteoclasts) via a combination of lipid transfer, clathrin-dependent endocytosis and phagocytosis. This interaction caused general suppression of osteoclast differentiation via inhibition of cell fusion. Additionally, repeat exposure to oxygen-loaded nanobubbles inhibited osteoclast formation to a greater extent than nitrogen-loaded nanobubbles. This gas-dependent effect was driven by differential effects on the fusion of mononuclear precursor cells to form pre-osteoclasts, partly due to elevated potentiation of RANKL-induced ROS by nitrogen-loaded nanobubbles. Our findings suggest that oxygen-loaded nanobubbles could represent a promising therapeutic strategy for cancer therapy; reducing osteoclast formation and therefore bone metastasis via preferential interaction with monocytes/macrophages within the tumour and bone microenvironment, in addition to known effects of directly improving tumour oxygenation.