Intimal macrophages are determinant cells for atherosclerotic lesion formation by releasing inflammatory factors and taking up oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) via scavenger receptors, primarily the CD36 receptor. (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) has a potential to decrease cholesterol accumulation and inflammatory responses in macrophages. We made EGCG-loaded nanoparticles (Enano) using phosphatidylcholine, kolliphor HS15, alpha-tocopherol acetate and EGCG. 1-(Palmitoyl)-2-(5-keto-6-octene-dioyl) phosphatidylcholine (KOdiA-PC), a CD36-targeted ligand found on oxLDL, was incorporated on the surface of Enano to make ligand-Enano (L-Enano). The objectives of this study are to deliver EGCG to macrophages via CD36-targeted L-Enano and to determine its antiatherogenic bioactivities. The optimized nanoparticles obtained in our study were spherical and around 108 nm in diameter, and had about 10% of EGCG loading capacity and 96% of EGCG encapsulation efficiency. Compared to Enano, CD36-targeted L-Enano had significantly higher binding affinity to and uptake by macrophages at the same pattern as oxLDL. CD36-targeted L-Enano dramatically improved EGCG stability, increased macrophage EGCG content, delivered EGCG to macrophage cytosol and avoided lysosomes. L-Enano significantly decreased macrophage mRNA levels and protein secretion of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, but did not significantly change macrophage cholesterol content. The innovative CD36-targeted nanoparticles may facilitate targeted delivery of diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic compounds to intimal macrophages for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis with enhanced efficacy and decreased side effects.
- Biocompatible and biodegradable
- Targeted delivery