Research ArticleAtherosclerosis

Cyclodextrin promotes atherosclerosis regression via macrophage reprogramming

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Science Translational Medicine  06 Apr 2016:
Vol. 8, Issue 333, pp. 333ra50
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aad6100

Dissolving away cholesterol

Cardiovascular disease resulting from atherosclerosis is one of the most common causes of death worldwide, and additional therapies for this disease are greatly needed because not all patients can be effectively treated with existing approaches. Cyclodextrin is a common FDA-approved substance that is already used as a solubilizing agent to improve delivery of various drugs. Now, Zimmer et al. have discovered that cyclodextrin can also solubilize cholesterol, removing it from plaques, dissolving cholesterol crystals, and successfully treating atherosclerosis in a mouse model. Because cyclodextrin is already known to be safe in humans, this drug is now a potential candidate for testing in human patients for the treatment of atherosclerosis.

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