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Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 67, Issue 5, pp 761–774 | Cite as

TriCurin, a synergistic formulation of curcumin, resveratrol, and epicatechin gallate, repolarizes tumor-associated macrophages and triggers an immune response to cause suppression of HPV+ tumors

  • Sumit Mukherjee
  • Rahman Hussaini
  • Richard White
  • Doaa Atwi
  • Angela Fried
  • Samay Sampat
  • Longzhu Piao
  • Quintin Pan
  • Probal Banerjee
Original Article

Abstract

Our earlier studies reported a unique potentiated combination (TriCurin) of curcumin (C) with two other polyphenols. The TriCurin-associated C displays an IC50 in the low micromolar range for cultured HPV+ TC-1 cells. In contrast, because of rapid degradation in vivo, the TriCurin-associated C reaches only low nano-molar concentrations in the plasma, which are sub-lethal to tumor cells. Yet, injected TriCurin causes a dramatic suppression of tumors in TC-1 cell-implanted mice (TC-1 mice) and xenografts of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) cells in nude/nude mice. Here, we use the TC-1 mice to test our hypothesis that a major part of the anti-tumor activity of TriCurin is evoked by innate and adaptive immune responses. TriCurin injection repolarized arginase1high (ARG1high), IL10high, inducible nitric oxide synthaselow (iNOSlow), IL12low M2-type tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) into ARG1low, IL10low, iNOShigh, and IL12high M1-type TAM in HPV+ tumors. The M1 TAM displayed sharply suppressed STAT3 and induced STAT1 and NF-kB(p65). STAT1 and NF-kB(p65) function synergistically to induce iNOS and IL12 transcription. Neutralizing IL12 signaling with an IL12 antibody abrogated TriCurin-induced intra-tumor entry of activated natural killer (NK) cells and Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL), thereby confirming that IL12 triggers recruitment of NK cells and CTL. These activated NK cells and CTL join the M1 TAM to elicit apoptosis of the E6+ tumor cells. Corroboratively, neutralizing IL12 signaling partially reversed this TriCurin-mediated apoptosis. Thus, injected TriCurin elicits an M2→M1 switch in TAM, accompanied by IL12-dependent intra-tumor recruitment of NK cells and CTL and elimination of cancer cells.

Keywords

Curcumin TriCurin Papillomavirus Tumor-associated macrophages NK cells CTL 

Abbreviations

ARG1

Arginase-1

C

Curcumin

CD8

Cluster of differentiation 8 protein

CD8α

Cluster of differentiation 8 alpha

CTL

Cytotoxic T lymphocytes

CUNY

City University of New York

E

Epicatechin gallate

E6 16/18

Early 6 protein 16/18

E7

Early 7 protein

HaRas

Harvey ras protein

HCl

Hydrochloric acid

HNSCC

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

HPV

Human papillomavirus

IACUC

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Iba1

Ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1

IF

Integrated fluorescence

IFNγ

Interferon gamma

IgG

Immunoglobin G

IL10

Interleukin-10

IL12

Interleukin-12

iNOS

Inducible nitric oxide synthase

LEEP

Loop electrosurgical excision procedure

LR

Lower right

NCr

Athymic nude mice

NKp46

Natural killer cell p-46-related protein

NOS2

Nitric oxide synthase 2

PFA

Paraformaldehyde

P-NF-kB

Phospho-NF-kB

P-p65

Phospho-p65

P-ser

Phosphor-serine

P-STAT1/3

Phospho-STAT1/3

P-Tyr

Phospho-tyrosine

R

Resveratrol

S.E.

Standard error

SEM

Standard error of the mean

SSC

Saline-sodium citrate

TAM

Tumor-associated macrophage

TriCur + IL12Ab

‘IL12 antibody infusion followed by TriCurin treatment’ group

UL

Upper left

UMSCC47

University of Michigan-squamous cell carcinoma-47

UR

Upper right

w/v

Weight/volume

Notes

Acknowledgements

Sumit Mukherjee was supported by a teaching assistantship from the College of Staten Island (CUNY).

Author contributions

PB, SM, QP, and LP conceived and planned the experiments. SM, RH, RW, DA, AF, SS, and LP carried out the experiments. All the authors contributed to the interpretation of results. SM and PB took the lead in writing the manuscript. All authors provided critical feedback and helped in shaping the final manuscript.

Funding

This project was supported by Professional Staff Congress (PSC)-CUNY Grants from cycles 45 and 47.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Probal Banerjee has a pending patent application “Activity Enhancing Curcumin Compositions and Methods of Use”, PCT/US14/67819 pending. The remaining authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval and ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional Animal Care Committees (IACUC) at the College of Staten Island (approval # 11 − 008) and The Ohio State University Medical Center (approval # 2009A0172).

Animal source

Adult C57BL/6 female mice (2–6 months old) used for the TC-1 tumor experiments were bred and handled at the College of Staten Island (CUNY) [8]. Athymic nude (NCr) mice were purchased from Charles River Laboratories (Wilmington, MA) for the Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) UMSCC47 tumor xenograft model and housed at The Ohio State University animal facility [7]. Both the strains mentioned above were bred and handled in accordance to the consent of respective Institutional Animal Care Committees (IACUC) at the College of Staten Island and The Ohio State University Medical Center. All animal protocols were approved by the respective Institutional Animal Care Committees (IACUC) at the College of Staten Island and The Ohio State University Medical Center.

Supplementary material

262_2018_2130_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.9 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1973 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CUNY Doctoral Program in BiochemistryCUNY Graduate CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry, Building 6SThe City University of New York at The College of Staten IslandStaten IslandUSA
  3. 3.The Center for Developmental NeuroscienceCity University of New York at The College of Staten IslandStaten IslandUSA
  4. 4.College of Arts and ScienceNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgeryThe Ohio State University Medical CenterColumbusUSA
  6. 6.Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research InstituteThe Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer CenterColumbusUSA

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