Nanoscale Receptor Blockers for Inhibition of Atherosclerosis

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Pathologies in blood vessels arising from the uncontrolled build-up of oxidized lipids contribute to atherosclerosis, a severe cardiovascular disease, which underlies the most common cause of adult death in the U.S. (exceeding one million patients yearly). Few existing therapeutic strategies address the local management of atherogenesis (build-up of oxidized lipids in the blood vessel walls) and related inflammation. The overall goals of this study are to rationally design and characterize nanoscale biomaterials as a novel cell-targeted materials platform for investigating strategies to de-escalate the onset of atherogenesis and reduce accompanying inflammation. The proposed NIH R21 study involves three specific objectives to investigate nanoassembled amphiphilic polymers (NAPs) to maximally inhibit oxidized LDL uptake in human macrophages under physiologic conditions and exhibit potential for specific targeting to inflamed endothelia. Efforts in Aim 1 will involve investigation of innovative designs of nano-assembled amphiphilic polymers (NAP) composition and architecture to promote NAP binding to both SRA-1 and CD36 scavenger receptors on human THP-1 macrophages and thus inhibit uptake of oxidized low-density lipoproteins (oxLDL). New configurations of NAP will tested for improved lipid uptake inhibition in the presence of serum. Studies in Aim 2 will investigate the effect of NAP-scavenger receptor (SR) interactions on the downstream intracellular and cell-secreted intermediates regulating atherogenesis in macrophages, including cytokine secretion;cholesterol ester accumulation;matrix metalloproteinase secretion;and expression analysis of genes involved in pro-atherogenic signaling pathways. Aim 3 is concerned with design and evaluation of the potential of biofunctionalized NAPs to bind to and transport across activated endothelial cell cultures in vitro, thereby creating a simplified in vitro model of the rescue of macrophage cells involved in atherogenesis within the vascular intima. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The excessive uptake of modified forms of LDL in immune blood cells macrophages is one of the hallmarks of fat build-up and vascular disease within blood vessel walls, which can lead to blockage of blood flow, and cause heart disease or stroke. This study will investigate the design of nanoscale assembled polymers with specific architectures, charge displays, and chemistry so as to reduce the uptake of the most damaging forms of lipoproteins within macrophages. The goals of the study are to identify the most effective "nanolipoblocker" configurations that may prevent atherogenesis by targeting activated blood vessel cells and blocking foam cell formation.
Effective start/end date4/1/093/31/12


  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: $190,950.00
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: $254,400.00
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: $225,669.00


  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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