The cargo of CRPPR-conjugated liposomes crosses the intact murine cardiac endothelium

Hua Zhang, Ning Li, Padmini Sirish, Lisa Mahakian, Elizabeth Ingham, Fitz Roy Curry, Soichiro Yamada, Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, Katherine W. Ferrara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Ligand-conjugated liposomes and other nano-sized constructs are attractive drug carriers due to their extended plasma circulation; however, limited data are available as to whether their cargo can traverse the endothelium of solid organs. To determine whether the cargo of endothelially targeted liposomes is internalized by endothelial cells and transported into tissue, and to evaluate whether such liposomes can accumulate in models of cardiovascular disease, we tracked the fate of the cargo (a hydrophilic fluorescent dye) and shell (conjugated with a radioisotope) of a heart-homing liposome (CRPPR-conjugated). The ex vivo heart was imaged with confocal microscopy and the in vivo heart with positron emission tomography in sham-treated mice and models of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) and myocardial infarction (MI). Within 30 min of injection of 20 mg/kg CRPPR liposomes, fluorescence increased by 47 fold in the tissue surrounding the vascular lumen, as compared with non-targeted liposomes. Both the accumulation on the endothelium and the interstitial fluorescence saturated at an injected dose of 20 mg/kg. In both I/R and MI models, CRPPR liposomes accumulated in diseased sites, although less than in surrounding healthy tissue. The accumulation in the diseased sites increased with time post-injury: the ratio of accumulated radioactivity in the diseased and healthy cardiac tissue increased from 0.20 ± 0.04, to 0.58 ± 0.12 and 0.61 ± 0.19 for 1, 7, and 99 days post-MI, indicating the potential for adequate delivery and therapeutic efficacy if the targeted particles are injected at 7 or more days post-MI. In summary, CRPPR- liposomes accumulated in normal and diseased hearts, and the cargo accumulated in the tissue within minutes and remained detectable after 24 h.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-17
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 10 2012


  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Cell penetrating peptides
  • Endothelium targeting
  • Targeted delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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