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Mol Pharm. 2016 Jul 5;13(7):2253-62. doi: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.5b00913. Epub 2016 Jun 3.

Dual-Functional Nanoparticles Targeting CXCR4 and Delivering Antiangiogenic siRNA Ameliorate Liver Fibrosis.

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Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University , Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Chang Gung Transplantation Institute, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou, Chang Gung University College of Medicine , Taoyuan, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica , Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.


The progression of liver fibrosis, an intrinsic response to chronic liver injury, is associated with hepatic hypoxia, angiogenesis, abnormal inflammation, and significant matrix deposition, leading to the development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Due to the complex pathogenesis of liver fibrosis, antifibrotic drug development has faced the challenge of efficiently and specifically targeting multiple pathogenic mechanisms. Therefore, CXCR4-targeted nanoparticles (NPs) were formulated to deliver siRNAs against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) into fibrotic livers to block angiogenesis during the progression of liver fibrosis. AMD3100, a CXCR4 antagonist that was incorporated into the NPs, served dual functions: it acted as a targeting moiety and suppressed the progression of fibrosis by inhibiting the proliferation and activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). We demonstrated that CXCR4-targeted NPs could deliver VEGF siRNAs to fibrotic livers, decrease VEGF expression, suppress angiogenesis and normalize the distorted vessels in the fibrotic livers in the carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) induced mouse model. Moreover, blocking SDF-1α/CXCR4 by CXCR4-targeted NPs in combination with VEGF siRNA significantly prevented the progression of liver fibrosis in CCl4-treated mice. In conclusion, the multifunctional CXCR4-targeted NPs delivering VEGF siRNAs provide an effective antifibrotic therapeutic strategy.


CXCR4/SDF-1α; VEGF; angiogenesis; liver fibrosis; nanoparticle; siRNA delivery

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