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Exploiting M cells for drug and vaccine delivery

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ann Clark, Emeritus Professor Barry Hirst


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The specialised antigen sampling M cells represent an efficient portal for mucosal drug and vaccine delivery. Delivery may be achieved using synthetic particulate delivery vehicles including poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide) microparticles and liposomes. M cell interaction of these delivery vehicles is highly variable, and is determined by the physical properties of both particles and M cells. Delivery may be enhanced by coating with reagents including appropriate lectins, microbial adhesins and immunoglobulins which selectively bind to M cell surfaces. Live attenuated microorganisms are also suitable as vaccines and mucosal vectors and many, including Salmonella typhimurium, innately target to M cells. After cell surface adhesion, delivery vehicles are rapidly transported across the M cell cytoplasm to underlying lymphoid cells and may subsequently disseminate via the lymphatics. Further definition of M cell development and function should permit exploitation of their high transcytotic capacity for safe and reliable mucosal delivery. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hirst BH; Clark MA; Jepson MA

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews

Year: 2001

Volume: 50

Issue: 1-2

Pages: 81-106

ISSN (print): 0169-409X

ISSN (electronic): 1872-8294


DOI: 10.1016/S0169-409X(01)00149-1

PubMed id: 11489335