Macrophages are cells of the innate immune system that are resident in all tissues, including metabolic organs such as the liver and adipose tissue (AT). Because of their phenotypic flexibility, they play beneficial roles in tissue homeostasis, but they also contribute to the progression of metabolic disease. Thus, they are ideal therapeutic targets for diseases such as insulin resistance (IR), nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and atherosclerosis. Recently, discoveries in the area of drug delivery have facilitated phenotype-specific targeting of macrophages. In this review we discuss advances in potential therapeutics for metabolic diseases via macrophage-specific delivery. We highlight micro- and nanoparticles, liposomes, and oligopeptide complexes, and how they can be used to alter macrophage phenotype for a more metabolically favorable tissue environment.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.