Cysteine-Based Redox-Responsive Nanoparticles for Fibroblast-Targeted Drug Delivery in the Treatment of Myocardial Infarction

ACS Nano. 2023 Mar 28;17(6):5421-5434. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.2c10042. Epub 2023 Mar 17.


Upon myocardial infarction (MI), activated cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) begin to remodel the myocardium, leading to cardiac fibrosis and even heart failure. No therapeutic approaches are currently available to prevent the development of MI-induced pathological fibrosis. Most pharmacological trials fail from poor local drug activity and side effects caused by systemic toxicity, largely due to the lack of a heart-targeted drug delivery system that is selective for activated CFs. Here, we developed a reduced glutathione (GSH)-responsive nanoparticle platform capable of targeted delivering of drugs to activated CFs within the infarct area of a post-MI heart. Compared with systemic drug administration, CF-targeted delivery of PF543, a sphingosine kinase 1 inhibitor identified in a high-throughput antifibrotic drug screening, had higher therapeutic efficacy and lower systemic toxicity in a MI mouse model. Our results provide a CF-targeted strategy to deliver therapeutic agents for pharmacological intervention of cardiac fibrosis.

Keywords: cardiac fibrosis; drug delivery; heart-targeted; high-throughput drug screening; myocardial infarction; redox-responsive nanoparticles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cysteine*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fibroblasts
  • Fibrosis
  • Mice
  • Myocardial Infarction* / drug therapy
  • Myocardial Infarction* / pathology
  • Myocardium / pathology


  • Cysteine