Abstract 19487: Simvastatin Loaded High-Density Lipoprotein Nanoparticles Reduce Inflammation in Atherosclerotic Plaques by Directly Acting on Plaque Macrophages and Inflammatory Monocytes
Rationale: Although statins have been shown to have anti-inflammatory pleiotropic effects in experimental studies, the poor plaque targeting of orally administered statins limits their direct anti-inflammatory therapeutic effect. To that end, we have developed a simvastatin loaded high-density lipoprotein nanoparticle ([S]-rHDL), which has an improved plaque bioavailability and therefore exerts a higher therapeutic effect in apolipoprotein E knockout (ApoE KO) mice than orally administered simvastatin. The purpose of the current study is to understand the mechanism of this potent anti-inflammatory effect.
Methods and Results: [S]-rHDL was found to specifically target plaque macrophages by fluorescence microscopy (a). To investigate the targeting efficiency of [S]-rHDL to monocytes/macrophages, we intravenously injected [S]-rHDL in ApoE KO mice (n=3/time point) and analyzed the cells from aortas and blood by flow cytometry. [S]-rHDL was found to target macrophages and monocytes in aortas (b), and to target inflammatory Gr-1hi monocytes more efficiently than anti-inflammatory Gr-1lo monocytes in blood (c). Last, laser capture microdissection was used to isolate plaque macrophages (n=7), and quantitative RT-PCR was used to measure their mRNA level of TNF-α, the hallmark of macrophage inflammation, which was significantly reduced (d). All the above data support our hypothesis that [S]-rHDL acts on inflammatory monocytes and plaque macrophages and thereby exerts a strong anti-inflammatory effect on atherosclerotic plaque.
Conclusion: In ApoE KO mice, [S]-rHDL specifically targets plaque macrophages. [S]-rHDL also locally acts on macrophages in plaque and preferentially targets pro-inflammatory monocytes in blood, which results in a strong anti-inflammatory effect. This nanotherapy may represent a potent addition to the current standard of care for atherosclerosis patients.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.