Methods and results: We evaluated the effect of several candidate drugs on macrophage activity, rating overall performance with respect to changes in cytokine release, oxidative stress, lipid handling, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and proliferation of macrophages. Using this in vitro approach, we observed that the anti-inflammatory effect of prednisolone was counterbalanced by multiple adverse effects on other key pathways. Conversely, pterostilbene, T0901317 and simvastatin had an overall anti-atherogenic effect on multiple pathways, suggesting their potential for liposomal delivery.
Conclusion: This dedicated assay setup provides a framework for high-throughput assessment. Further in vivo studies are warranted to determine the predictive value of this macrophage-based screening approach and its potential value in nanomedicinal drug development for cardiovascular patients.