Evidence implicating nonmuscle myosin in restenosis. Use of in situ hybridization to analyze human vascular lesions obtained by directional atherectomy.
BACKGROUND Identification of genes that are specifically activated in restenosis lesions after percutaneous transluminal angioplasty represents a necessary step toward molecular manipulation designed to inhibit cellular proliferation responsible for such lesions. Whereas quiescent smooth muscle cells (contractile phenotype) preferentially express smooth muscle myosin, proliferating smooth muscle cells (synthetic phenotype) have been shown to preferentially express nonmuscle myosin in vitro. Accordingly, we analyzed the expression of a recently cloned isoform of human nonmuscle myosin heavy chain (MHC-B) in fresh human restenotic lesions.
METHODS AND RESULTS A total of 10 lesions, including four restenosis (three superficial femoral arterial lesions and one saphenous vein bypass lesion) and six primary (four superficial femoral arterial lesions and two coronary arterial lesions) obtained percutaneously by directional atherectomy, were processed for examination by in situ hybridization. In total, 150 tissue sections of restenotic lesions (66 sections), primary lesions (78 sections), and normal internal mammary artery (six sections) were hybridized with the nonmuscle MHC-B probe. Restenotic lesions showed intense hybridization to the nonmuscle MHC-B cRNA probe, as demonstrated by a clustering of more than 20 grains per cell nucleus in 80% of the cells examined within a high-power field (x250); in contrast, an equivalent degree of hybridization was observed in only 7% of cells within primary lesions (p less than 0.001). Results of immunocytochemistry using monoclonal antibody to smooth muscle actin indicated that cells demonstrating strong hybridization were smooth muscle in origin.
CONCLUSIONS These findings demonstrate that 1) human vascular tissue obtained by percutaneous directional atherectomy constitutes appropriate biopsy material for gene expression studies at the mRNA level, and 2) nonmuscle MHC-B mRNA is present in greater abundance among restenotic versus primary vascular stenoses. These observations thus provide a rational basis to explore restenotic lesions on a larger scale to identify genes that are activated in these lesions and establish potential targets for future gene therapy.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association