Interferon-gamma inhibits arterial stenosis after injury.
BACKGROUND Arterial injury initiates a proliferative response among the smooth muscle cells of the artery. This leads to the formation of a thickened intima that may reduce the diameter of the arterial lumen. Such intimal lesions often develop after vascular surgery and angioplastic procedures. Previous cell culture studies have shown that the lymphokine, interferon-gamma (gIFN), inhibits smooth muscle cell proliferation.
METHODS AND RESULTS We therefore tested whether administration of exogenous gIFN could inhibit the development of intimal lesions. Rat carotid arteries were denuded with a balloon catheter, resulting in the formation of a standardized intimal lesion. The animals were then treated with recombinant rat gIFN at 200,000 units (approximately 400,000 units or 100 micrograms/kg body wt) administered parenterally once daily for 7 days. Autoradiographic analysis of 3H-thymidine incorporation revealed that gIFN reduced the early smooth muscle replication by approximately 75%. gIFN treatment for 1 week resulted in a 50% reduction of intimal cross-section area at 2 weeks after injury when compared to control rats injected with buffer alone. The difference in lesion development persisted in rats analyzed 10 weeks after injury, suggesting that proliferative events during the first week determine the long-term development of the intima. Inhibition of lesion development was accompanied by expression of the class II histocompatibility (Ia) gene, RT1B, suggesting that both were directly related to the administration of gIFN.
CONCLUSIONS These results show that gIFN is a potent inhibitor of the formation of arterial proliferative lesions in vivo. It is possible that gIFN could be useful in preventing arterial stenosis after surgery and angioplasty in man.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association