Inhibiting macrophage proliferation suppresses atherosclerotic plaque inflammation

Jun Tang, Mark E. Lobatto, Laurien Hassing, Susanne van der Staay, Sarian M. van Rijs, Claudia Calcagno, Mounia S. Braza, Samantha Baxter, Francois Fay, Brenda L. Sanchez-Gaytan, Raphaël Duivenvoorden, Hendrik Sager, Yaritzy M. Astudillo, Wei Leong, Sarayu Ramachandran, Gert Storm, Carlos Pérez-Medina, Thomas Reiner, David P. Cormode, Gustav J. StrijkersErik S. G. Stroes, Filip K. Swirski, Matthias Nahrendorf, Edward A. Fisher, Zahi A. Fayad, Willem J. M. Mulder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Inflammation drives atherosclerotic plaque progression and rupture, and is a compelling therapeutic target. Consequently, attenuating inflammation by reducing local macrophage accumulation is an appealing approach. This can potentially be accomplished by either blocking blood monocyte recruitment to the plaque or increasing macrophage apoptosis and emigration. Because macrophage proliferation was recently shown to dominate macrophage accumulation in advanced plaques, locally inhibiting macrophage proliferation may reduce plaque inflammation and produce long-term therapeutic benefits. To test this hypothesis, we used nanoparticle-based delivery of simvastatin to inhibit plaque macrophage proliferation in apolipoprotein E deficient mice (Apoe(-/-) ) with advanced atherosclerotic plaques. This resulted in rapid reduction of plaque inflammation and favorable phenotype remodeling. We then combined this short-term nanoparticle intervention with an eight-week oral statin treatment, and this regimen rapidly reduced and continuously suppressed plaque inflammation. Our results demonstrate that pharmacologically inhibiting local macrophage proliferation can effectively treat inflammation in atherosclerosis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1400223
JournalScience advances
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this