The Acute Immune Responses of the Common Carp Cyprinus carpio to PLGA Microparticles—The Interactions of a Teleost Fish with a Foreign Material
Poly lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) particles safely and effectively deliver pharmaceutical ingredients, with many applications approved for clinical use in humans. In fishes, PLGA particles are being considered as carriers of therapeutic drugs and vaccine antigens. However, existing studies focus mainly on vaccine antigens, the endpoint immune responses to these (e.g., improved antibody titres), without deeper understanding of whether fishes react to the carrier. To test whether or not PLGA are recognized by or interact at all with the immune system of a teleost fish, we prepared, characterized and injected PLGA microparticles intraperitoneally into common carp. The influx, phenotype of inflammatory leukocytes, and their capacity to produce reactive oxygen species and phagocytose PLGA microparticles were tested by flow cytometry, qPCR, and microscopy. PLGA microparticles were indeed recognized. However, they induced only transient recruitment of inflammatory leukocytes that was resolved 4 days later whereas only the smallest µm-sized particles were phagocytosed. The overall response resembled that described in mammals against foreign materials. Given the similarities between our findings and those described in mammals, PLGA particles can be adapted to play a dual role as both antigen and drug carriers in fishes, depending on the administered dose and their design.