Faculté des sciences

Endothelial nitric oxide synthase gene transfer restores endothelium–dependent relaxations and attenuates lesion formation in carotid arteries in apolipoprotein E–deficient mice

Mujynya-Ludunge, Kathi ; Viswambharan, Hema ; Driscoll, Robert ; Ming, Xiu-Fen ; Segesser, Ludwig K. von ; Kappenberger, Lukas ; Yang, Zhihong ; Vassalli, Giuseppe

In: Basic Research in Cardiology, 2005, vol. 100(2), p. 102

Nitric oxide (NO) and monocyte chemoattractant protein–1 (MCP-1) exert partly opposing effects in vascular biology. NO plays pleiotropic vasoprotective roles including vasodilation and inhibition of platelet aggregation, smooth muscle cell proliferation, and endothelial monocyte adhesion, the last effect being mediated by MCP–1 downregulation. Early stages of arteriosclerosis are associated... More

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    Summary
    Nitric oxide (NO) and monocyte chemoattractant protein–1 (MCP-1) exert partly opposing effects in vascular biology. NO plays pleiotropic vasoprotective roles including vasodilation and inhibition of platelet aggregation, smooth muscle cell proliferation, and endothelial monocyte adhesion, the last effect being mediated by MCP–1 downregulation. Early stages of arteriosclerosis are associated with reduced NO bioactivity and enhanced MCP–1 expression. We have evaluated adenovirus–mediated gene transfer of human endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) and of a N–terminal deletion (8ND) mutant of the MCP–1 gene that acts as a MCP–1 inhibitor in arteriosclerosis–prone, apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE–/–) mice. Endotheliumdependent relaxations were impaired in carotid arteries instilled with a noncoding adenoviral vector but were restored by eNOS gene transfer (p < 0.01). A perivascular collar was placed around the common carotid artery to accelerate lesion formation. eNOS gene transfer reduced lesion surface areas, intima/media ratios, and macrophage contents in the media at 5–week follow–up (p < 0.05). In contrast, 8ND–MCP-1 gene transfer did not prevent lesion formation. In conclusion, eNOS gene transfer restores endothelium–dependent vasodilation and inhibits lesion formation in ApoE–/– mouse carotids. Further studies are needed to assess whether vasoprotection is maintained at later disease stages and to evaluate the long–term efficacy of eNOS gene therapy for primary arteriosclerosis.