Low level in vivo gene transfer into the arterial wall through a perforated balloon catheter.
BACKGROUND Gene transfer into the arterial wall may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of coronary artery restenosis. Previously described methods for gene transfer into the arterial wall require total vessel occlusion for 30 minutes. We sought to develop a protocol for gene transfer within a more clinically relevant time frame.
METHODS AND RESULTS We used a perforated balloon (Wolinsky) catheter to inject retroviral vector-containing virions into rabbit aortas in vivo. The virions were injected within 1 minute. Aortas were removed 5-14 days after injection and analyzed for evidence of gene transfer. In initial studies, nine rabbits were injected with a vector expressing the beta-galactosidase gene, and nine rabbits were injected with either non-beta-galactosidase-containing vectors or with a vehicle control. Histochemical staining of aortic tissues revealed blue (positive) cells in eight of nine experimental rabbits and six of nine controls. Because of the lack of specificity of the beta-galactosidase detection system, we adopted a polymerase chain reaction-based protocol in which oligonucleotide primers were used to amplify specific vector-related sequences from aortic tissue extracts. The polymerase chain reaction protocol, calibrated with standards containing known numbers of transduced cells, revealed low amounts of vector-related sequences in six of 12 vector-injected rabbits and in one of 13 controls (p less than 0.03). Comparison with standards indicated that fewer than 100 transduced cells were present in a 2-cm length of the injected aortic tissue.
CONCLUSIONS Although in vivo gene transfer through an infusion balloon catheter can be accomplished within 1 minute, the therapeutic use of this protocol is limited by the small number of cells that are transduced.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association