Administration of drugs and other therapeutic agents has been the central strategy of contemporary medicine for cardiovascular disease. The use of drug delivery systems (DDS) includes micelles, liposomes, polymeric nanoparticles, dendrimers, carbon nanotubes, and crystalline metals. Nano-DDS modify in vivo drug kinetics, depending on (patho)physiological mechanisms such as retard excretion, vascular permeability, and incorporation by mononuclear phagocyte systems, which constitute the ‘passive-targeting’ property of nano-DDS. These properties of nano-DDS are applicable to inflammatory diseases including atherosclerosis. Atherosclerotic plaque destabilization and rupture account for the majority of acute myocardial infarction, for which inflammatory monocytes and macrophages play critical roles. In our experience, polymeric nanoparticles have been delivered to inflammatory monocytes and macrophages in an atherosclerotic mouse model. Nano-DDS loaded with pioglitazone reduced Ly6Chigh inflammatory monocytes and increased Ly6Clow non-inflammatory monocytes in the peripheral blood, and induced M2 macrophage-associated genes in the aorta. Pioglitazone-nanoparticles finally stabilized atherosclerotic plaques assessed by a decrease in the number of buried fibrous caps in the plaque. Application of nano-DDS is a unique and promising approach to prevent life-threatening cardiovascular events including acute myocardial infarction by regulating inflammation in the cardiovascular system.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine