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EGFP-EGF1-conjugated poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles, a new diagnostic tool and drug carrier for atherosclerosis

Authors Wu Z, Chen C, Zhang B, Tang L, Shi W, Liao D, Di G, Davis JR, Wang H

Received 27 December 2018

Accepted for publication 26 February 2019

Published 11 April 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 2609—2618


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun

Zhilin Wu,1 Chen Chen,1 Bo Zhang,2 Liang Tang,2 Wei Shi,2 Danying Liao,2 Gaohong Di,1 Jacques RJ Davis,1 Hui Wang1

1Anesthesiology Department, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, People’s Republic of China; 2Haematology Department, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, People’s Republic of China

Background: EGFP-EGF1-conjugated poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticle (ENP) has a specific affinity to tissue factor (TF). The aim of this study was to investigate the target delivery of ENP to plaques and its uptake in a mouse model of atherosclerosis in vivo and in vitro.
Materials and methods: Coumarin-6- and 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindotricarbocyanine iodide (DiR)-loaded ENPs were synthesized using a double-emulsion method. Mouse vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) were induced with MCP-1 to obtain an increased TF expression. Fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry assay were performed to examine the uptake of coumarin-6-loaded ENPs in cellular models. An animal model of atherosclerosis was established with an ApoE (-/-) mouse fed with continuous high-fat diets for 14 weeks. DiR-loaded ENPs (DiR-ENPs) were injected via the caudal vein. The distribution of DiR-ENPs was examined through organ imaging and confocal laser scanning microscopy.
Results: Results indicated TFs were highly expressed in the cellular model. The uptake of coumarin-6-loaded ENPs was significantly higher than that of common PLGA nanoparticles. Thickening of intima and lipid deposition in the aorta could be observed in atherosclerosis mouse models. Confocal laser scanning microscopy organ imaging showed ENPs accumulated in vessels with atherosclerotic plaques, which coincided with high expressions of TF.
Conclusion: This study showed that EGFP-EGF1-conjugated PLGA nanoparticles could be effectively delivered to atherosclerotic plaques in vivo and taken up by VSMCs with high TF expressions in vitro. Thus, it could be a promising carrier for targeted therapy of atherosclerosis.

Keywords: tissue factor, atherosclerosis, nanoparticle, target delivery, EGFP-EGF1

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