Targeted chelation therapy with EDTA-loaded albumin nanoparticles regresses arterial calcification without causing systemic side effects

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Background and aimsElastin-specific medial arterial calcification (MAC) is an arterial disease commonly referred as Monckeberg's sclerosis. It causes significant arterial stiffness, and as yet, no clinical therapy exists to prevent or reverse it. We developed albumin nanoparticles (NPs) loaded with disodium ethylene diaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) that were designed to target calcified elastic lamina when administrated by intravenous injection.Methods and resultsWe optimized NP size, charge, and EDTA-loading efficiency (150–200 nm, zeta potential of −22.89 – −31.72 mV, loading efficiency for EDTA ˜20%) for in vivo targeting in rats. These NPs released EDTA slowly for up to 5 days. In both ex-vivo study and in vivo study with injury-induced local abdominal aortic calcification, we showed that elastin antibody-coated and EDTA-loaded albumin NPs targeted the damaged elastic lamina while sparing healthy artery. Intravenous NP injections reversed elastin-specific MAC in rats after four injections over a 2-week period. EDTA-loaded albumin NPs did not cause the side effects observed in EDTA injection alone, such as decrease in serum calcium (Ca), increase in urine Ca, or toxicity to kidney. There was no bone loss in any treated groups.ConclusionWe demonstrate that elastin antibody-coated and EDTA-loaded albumin NPs might be a promising nanoparticle therapy to reverse elastin-specific MAC and circumvent side effects associated with systemic EDTA chelation therapy.Graphical abstract

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