H2O2-responsive antioxidant polymeric nanoparticles as therapeutic agents for peripheral arterial disease

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Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common circulatory disorder in which narrowed arteries limit blood flow to the lower extremity and affect millions of people worldwide. Therapeutic angiogenesis has emerged as a promising strategy to treat PAD patients because surgical intervention has been showing limited success. Leg muscles of PAD patients have significantly high level of ROS (reactive oxygen species) and the increased production of ROS is a key mechanism of initiation and progression of PAD. We have recently developed H2O2-responsive polymer PVAX, which is designed to rapidly scavenge H2O2 and release vanillyl alcohol with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic efficacy of PVAX nanoparticles for PAD using a cell culture model and a mouse model of hindlimb ischemia. PVAX nanoparticles significantly enhanced the expression of angiogenic inducers such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM)-1 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). PVAX nanoparticles promoted revascularization and restoration of blood perfusion into ischemic tissues by upregulating angiogenic VEGF and PECAM-1. This work demonstrates that H2O2-responsive PVAX nanoparticles facilitate therapeutic angiogenesis and hold tremendous translational potential as therapeutic systems for ischemic diseases such as PAD.

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