Multimodal clinical imaging to longitudinally assess a nanomedical anti-inflammatory treatment in experimental atherosclerosis

Mark E. Lobatto, Zahi A. Fayad, Stephane Silvera, Esad Vucic, Claudia Calcagno, Venkatesh Mani, Stephen D. Dickson, Klaas Nicolay, Manuela Banciu, Raymond M. Schiffelers, Josbert M. Metselaar, Louis Van Bloois, Hai Shan Wu, John T. Fallon, James H. Rudd, Valentin Fuster, Edward A. Fisher, Gert Storm, Willem J.M. Mulder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease causing great morbidity and mortality in the Western world. To increase the anti-inflammatory action and decrease adverse effects of glucocorticoids (PLP), a nanomedicinal liposomal formulation of this drug (L-PLP) was developed and intravenously applied at a dose of 15 mg/kg PLP to a rabbit model of atherosclerosis. Since atherosclerosis is a systemic disease, emerging imaging modalities for assessing atherosclerotic plaque are being developed. 18F-Fluoro-deoxy-glucose positron emission tomography and dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging, methods commonly used in oncology, were applied to longitudinally assess therapeutic efficacy. Significant anti-inflammatory effects were observed as early as 2 days that lasted up to at least 7 days after administration of a single dose of L-PLP. No significant changes were found for the free PLP treated animals. These findings were corroborated by immunohistochemical analysis of macrophage density in the vessel wall. In conclusion, this study evaluates a powerful two-pronged strategy for efficient treatment of atherosclerosis that includes nanomedical therapy of atherosclerotic plaques and the application of noninvasive and clinically approved imaging techniques to monitor delivery and therapeutic responses. Importantly, we demonstrate unprecedented rapid anti-inflammatory effects in atherosclerotic lesions after the nanomedical therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2020-2029
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular pharmaceutics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2010


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