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Multifunctional Nanoparticles Facilitate Molecular Targeting and miRNA Delivery to Inhibit Atherosclerosis in ApoE–/– Mice

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journal contribution
posted on 22.09.2015, 00:00 by Azadeh Kheirolomoom, Chan Woo Kim, Jai Woong Seo, Sandeep Kumar, Dong Ju Son, M. Karen J. Gagnon, Elizabeth S. Ingham, Katherine W. Ferrara, Hanjoong Jo
The current study presents an effective and selective multifunctional nanoparticle used to deliver antiatherogenic therapeutics to inflamed pro-atherogenic regions without off-target changes in gene expression or particle-induced toxicities. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression, playing a critical role in biology and disease including atherosclerosis. While anti-miRNA are emerging as therapeutics, numerous challenges remain due to their potential off-target effects, and therefore the development of carriers for selective delivery to diseased sites is important. Yet, co-optimization of multifunctional nanoparticles with high loading efficiency, a hidden cationic domain to facilitate lysosomal escape and a dense, stable incorporation of targeting moieties is challenging. Here, we create coated, cationic lipoparticles (CCLs), containing anti-miR-712 (∼1400 molecules, >95% loading efficiency) within the core and with a neutral coating, decorated with 5 mol % of peptide (VHPK) to target vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM1). Optical imaging validated disease-specific accumulation as anti-miR-712 was efficiently delivered to inflamed mouse aortic endothelial cells in vitro and in vivo. As with the naked anti-miR-712, the delivery of VHPK-CCL-anti-miR-712 effectively downregulated the d-flow induced expression of miR-712 and also rescued the expression of its target genes tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP3) and reversion-inducing-cysteine-rich protein with kazal motifs (RECK) in the endothelium, resulting in inhibition of metalloproteinase activity. Moreover, an 80% lower dose of VHPK-CCL-anti-miR-712 (1 mg/kg dose given twice a week), as compared with naked anti-miR-712, prevented atheroma formation in a mouse model of atherosclerosis. While delivery of naked anti-miR-712 alters expression in multiple organs, miR-712 expression in nontargeted organs was unchanged following VHPK-CCL-anti-miR-712 delivery.

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