Nano-medicine and Vascular Endothelial Dysfunction: Options and Delivery Strategies


The endothelium is a thin innermost layer of flat cells which release various mediators including endothelin-1 (ET-1), prostanoids, von Willebrand factor (vWF) and endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF; nitric oxide) to regulate vascular tone. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) is a key enzyme that generates nitric oxide (NO). NO maintains vascular homeostasis and cardiac functions by influencing major vascular protective properties such as anti-platelet, anti-proliferative, anti-migratory, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action in vessels. Abnormal endothelial production and release of NO lead to vascular endothelial dysfunction (VED) and further leads to pathogenesis in myocardial and other tissues. Numerous pharmacological agents such as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, statins, calcium channel blockers, ET-1 receptor antagonists, insulin sensitizers, antioxidants and supplements like tetrahydrobiopterin, arginine and folate have been implicated in the treatment of VED, but their therapeutic potency was restricted due to some unavoidable adverse effects. The new era with advances in nanotechnology and its ability to target a specific disease, nano-medicine explored an innovative gateway for advanced therapy for VED. The present commentary reveals the various available, pipeline nano-medicine, their interaction with endothelium and in other associated pathological conditions and their delivery strategies for target-specific treatment of VED.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2



Angiotensin-converting enzyme 1


Asymmetric dimethylarginine


Advanced glycation end product


Protein kinase B




Coronary artery disease


Cyclin-dependent kinase


Cholesteryl ester transfer protein


Cardiovascular disease


C-X-C motif chemokine 12


Endogenous damage-associated molecular patterns

EAhy926 cells:

Endothelial-like cells


Endothelial cells


Endothelium-derived relaxing factor


Endothelial nitric oxide synthase




Flavin adenine dinucleotide


Flavin mononucleotide




Glucagon-like peptide 1


Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α


3-Hydroxy 3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A


Heme oxygenase-1


Human umbilical vein endothelial cells


Intercellular adhesion molecule 1


Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor




Janus kinase


Lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1




Monocyte chemoattractant protein


Magnetic nano-beads


Magnetic resonance imaging


Mammalian target of rapamycin


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate


Nuclear factor kappa-β


Nitric oxide




p21 protein (Cdc42/Rac)-activated kinase 1


Pathogen-associated molecular patterns


Platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1


Positron emission tomography–magnetic resonance imaging


Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase regulatory subunit beta receptor




Protein kinase A


Poly(lactide-co-glycolide)–poly(ethylene glycol) polymer


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor


Pattern recognition receptors


Protein tyrosine phosphatase


Reactive oxygen species


Superparamagnetic iron oxide NPs


Sprouty-related protein I




Toll-like receptors


Tumor necrosis factor-α


Ultra-small superparamagnetic iron oxide particles


Vascular cell adhesion molecule 1


Vascular endothelial dysfunction


Vascular endothelial growth factor-A


Vascular smooth muscle cells


Von Willebrand factor


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The authors are grateful to the authority of the Amity Institute of Pharmacy, Amity University, Gurugram, Haryana, India, for providing the necessary facilities.

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Correspondence to Arun K. Sharma.

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Taneja, G., Sud, A., Pendse, N. et al. Nano-medicine and Vascular Endothelial Dysfunction: Options and Delivery Strategies. Cardiovasc Toxicol 19, 1–12 (2019).

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  • Vascular endothelial dysfunction
  • Nano-medicine
  • Nanoparticle
  • eNOS
  • Cardiovascular disorders