Targeted Antiproliferative Drug Delivery to Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells With a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Nanoparticle Contrast Agent
Implications for Rational Therapy of Restenosis
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Background— Restenosis is a serious complication of coronary angioplasty that involves the proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) from the media to the intima, synthesis of extracellular matrix, and remodeling. We have previously demonstrated that tissue factor–targeted nanoparticles can penetrate and bind stretch-activated vascular smooth muscles in the media after balloon injury. In the present study, the concept of VSMC-targeted nanoparticles as a drug-delivery platform for the prevention of restenosis after angioplasty is studied.
Methods and Results— Tissue factor–targeted nanoparticles containing doxorubicin or paclitaxel at 0, 0.2, or 2.0 mole% of the outer lipid layer were targeted for 30 minutes to VSMCs and significantly inhibited their proliferation in culture over the next 3 days. Targeting of the nanoparticles to VSMC surface epitopes significantly increased nanoparticle antiproliferative effectiveness, particularly for paclitaxel. In vitro dissolution studies revealed that nanoparticle drug release persisted over one week. Targeted antiproliferative results were dependent on the hydrophobic nature of the drug and noncovalent interactions with other surfactant components. Molecular imaging of nanoparticles adherent to the VSMC was demonstrated with high-resolution T1-weighted MRI at 4.7T. MRI 19F spectroscopy of the nanoparticle core provided a quantifiable approach for noninvasive dosimetry of targeted drug payloads.
Conclusions— These data suggest that targeted paramagnetic nanoparticles may provide a novel, MRI-visualizable, and quantifiable drug delivery system for the prevention of restenosis after angioplasty.
Received May 1, 2002; revision received August 22, 2002; accepted August 24, 2002.