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J Lipid Res. 2014 Oct;55(10):2053-63. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M049262. Epub 2014 Jun 29.

In vivo efficacy of HDL-like nanolipid particles containing multivalent peptide mimetics of apolipoprotein A-I.

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Departments of Chemistry and Immunology and Microbial Science, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037.


We have observed that molecular constructs based on multiple apoA-I mimetic peptides attached to a branched scaffold display promising anti-atherosclerosis functions in vitro. Building on these promising results, we now describe chronic in vivo studies to assess anti-atherosclerotic efficacy of HDL-like nanoparticles assembled from a trimeric construct, administered over 10 weeks either ip or orally to LDL receptor-null mice. When dosed ip, the trimer-based nanolipids markedly reduced plasma LDL-cholesterol levels by 40%, unlike many other apoA-I mimetic peptides, and were substantially atheroprotective. Surprisingly, these nanoparticles were also effective when administered orally at a dose of 75 mg/kg, despite the peptide construct being composed of l-amino acids and being undetectable in the plasma. The orally administered nanoparticles reduced whole aorta lesion areas by 55% and aortic sinus lesion volumes by 71%. Reductions in plasma cholesterol were due to the loss of non-HDL lipoproteins, while plasma HDL-cholesterol levels were increased. At a 10-fold lower oral dose, the nanoparticles were marginally effective in reducing atherosclerotic lesions. Intriguingly, analogous results were obtained with nanolipids of the corresponding monomeric peptide. These nanolipid formulations provide an avenue for developing orally efficacious therapeutic agents to manage atherosclerosis.


amphiphilic; atherosclerosis; cholesterol; drug development; nanoparticle; α-helix

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