Mechanism of Iron Oxide-Induced Macrophage Activation: The Impact of Composition and the Underlying Signaling Pathway

Zhengying Gu, Tianqing Liu, Jie Tang, Yannan Yang, Hao Song, Zewen K. Tuong, Jianye Fu, Chengzhong Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)


Iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) have emerging anticancer applications via polarizing tumor-associated macrophages from tumor-promoting phenotype (M2) to tumor-suppressing phenotype (M1). However, the underlying mechanism and structure-function relationship remain unclear. We report magnetite IONPs are more effective compared to hematite in M1 polarization and tumor suppression. Moreover, magnetite IONPs specifically rely on interferon regulatory factor 5 signaling pathway for M1 polarization and down-regulate M2-assoicated arginase-1. This study provides new understandings and paves the way for designing advanced iron-based anticancer technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6122-6126
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

Cite this