Characterization of the pharmaceutical effect of drugs on atherosclerotic lesions in vivo using integrated fluorescence imaging and raman spectral measurements

Yi Cyun Yang, Wei Tien Chang, Shao Kang Huang, Ian Liau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Direct assessment of the vascular lesions of model animals in vivo is important for the development of new antiatherosclerotic drugs. Nevertheless, biochemical analysis of the lipid profile in blood in vitro remains the most common way to evaluate the therapeutic effect of drugs targeting atherosclerosis because of an inherent difficulty to access the vascular wall. Using hypercholesterolemic zebrafish, we present an orchestrated application of Raman spectral measurements and confocal fluorescence imaging to interrogate the pharmacological response of atherosclerotic lesions in situ and in vivo. For demonstration, we investigated two commonly prescribed antihyperlipidemic drugs, ezetimibe and atorvastatin. The treatment of ezetimibe or atorvastatin alone decreased effectively the deposition of lipids in the vascular wall, and a combined dose showed a synergistic effect. Atorvastatin exerted a profound antioxidative effect on vascular fatty lesions. Analysis of individual lesions shows further that these lesions exhibited a heterogeneous response to the treatment of atorvastatin; a significant fraction of, but not all, the lesions became nonoxidized after the intervention. Beyond its efficacies in suppressing both the accumulation and oxidation of vascular lipids, atorvastatin expedited the clearance of vascular lipids. The possession of pleotropic (multiple) therapeutic effects on vascular fatty lesions of hypercholesterolemic zebrafish by atorvastatin is notably consistent with the known pharmaceutical effects of this drug on human beings. These results improve our understanding of the antiatherosclerotic effect of drugs. We envisage that our approach has the potential to become a platform to predict the pharmaceutical effects of new drugs aiming to cure human atherosclerotic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3863-3868
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Volume86
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2014

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