Pioglitazone-incorporated nanoparticles prevent plaque destabilization and rupture by regulating monocyte/macrophage differentiation in ApoE -/-Mice

Soichi Nakashiro, Tetsuya Matoba, Ryuta Umezu, Jun Ichiro Koga, Masaki Tokutome, Shunsuke Katsuki, Kaku Nakano, Kenji Sunagawa, Kensuke Egashira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


Objective - Inflammatory monocytes/macrophages produce various proteinases, including matrix metalloproteinases, and degradation of the extracellular matrix by these activated proteinases weakens the mechanical strength of atherosclerotic plaques, which results in a rupture of the plaque. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ induces a polarity shift of monocytes/macrophages toward less inflammatory phenotypes and has the potential to prevent atherosclerotic plaque ruptures. Therefore, we hypothesized that nanoparticle-mediated targeted delivery of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ agonist pioglitazone into circulating monocytes could effectively inhibit plaque ruptures in a mouse model. Approach and Results - We prepared bioabsorbable poly(lactic-co-glycolic-acid) nanoparticles containing pioglitazone (pioglitazone-NPs). Intravenously administered poly(lactic-co-glycolic-acid) nanoparticles incorporated with fluorescein isothiocyanate were found in circulating monocytes and aortic macrophages by flow cytometric analysis. Weekly intravenous administration of pioglitazone-NPs (7 mg/kg per week) for 4 weeks decreased buried fibrous caps, a surrogate marker of plaque rupture, in the brachiocephalic arteries of ApoE-/- mice fed a high-fat diet and infused with angiotensin II. In contrast, administration of control-NPs or an equivalent dose of oral pioglitazone treatment produced no effects. Pioglitazone-NPs inhibited the activity of matrix metalloproteinases and cathepsins in the brachiocephalic arteries. Pioglitazone-NPs regulated inflammatory cytokine expression and also suppressed the expression of extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer in bone marrow-derived macrophages. Conclusions - Nanoparticle-mediated delivery of pioglitazone inhibited macrophage activation and atherosclerotic plaque ruptures in hyperlipidemic ApoE-/- mice. These results demonstrate a promising strategy with a favorable safety profile to prevent atherosclerotic plaque ruptures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-500
Number of pages10
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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