Delivering macrolide antibiotics to heal a broken heart – And other inflammatory conditions

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Drug carriers to deliver macrolide antibiotics, such as azithromycin, show promise as antibacterial agents. Macrolide drug carriers have largely focused on improving the drug stability and pharmacokinetics, while reducing adverse reactions and improving antibacterial activity. Recently, macrolides have shown promise in treating inflammatory conditions by promoting a reparative effect and limiting detrimental pro-inflammatory responses, which shifts the immunologic setpoint from suppression to balance. While macrolide drug carriers have only recently been investigated for their ability to modulate immune responses, the previous strategies that deliver macrolides for antibacterial therapy provide a roadmap for repurposing the macrolide drug carriers for therapeutic interventions targeting inflammatory conditions. This review describes the antibacterial and immunomodulatory activity of macrolides, while assessing the past in vivo evaluation of drug carriers used to deliver macrolides with the intention of presenting a case for increased effort to translate macrolide drug carriers into the clinic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114252
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
VJV would like to thank Prof. Szoka for his guidance while a postdoctoral fellow to navigate the field of liposome drug delivery, and more importantly to appreciate the importance of simple design parameters to make significant impacts in the areas of biotechnology development and translational drug delivery. VJV is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health ( R01HL152081 , P20GM130456 , R01NS116068 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Antibiotic
  • Azithromycin
  • Drug delivery
  • Immune modulation
  • Macrolides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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