Efficient repopulation of denuded rabbit arteries with autologous genetically modified endothelial cells.
BACKGROUND In an effort to determine whether specific genetic modifications of cells of the vascular system might improve the efficacy of existing clinical procedures such as endarterectomy, atherectomy, and percutaneous angioplasty, we investigated the utility of gene transfer to rapidly and efficiently repopulate injured arteries with genetically modified cells in an animal model.
METHODS AND RESULTS The method involves the harvest of autologous venous-derived endothelial cells, the efficient genetic modification of the cells through the use of recombinant retroviruses, and the subsequent implantation of the genetically modified cells on the surface of balloon-denuded arterial segments. With a rabbit model, freshly isolated endothelial cells were transduced with a recombinant retrovirus encoding the bacterial enzyme beta-galactosidase. The autologous transduced cells were then implanted on the surface of balloon-denuded ileofemoral arterial segments at different cell densities; after 1 to 14 days, the animals were killed, and the vessel segments were examined. Cells expressing the bacterial gene product, as determined by in situ staining for beta-galactosidase, were found to be present on the surface of 28 of the 32 arteries seeded with genetically modified cells. Vessels examined at 4 to 7 days after seeding displayed 40% to 90% coverage with transduced cells, even when seeded at subconfluent density, and an intact endothelial cell monolayer, as evidenced by scanning electron microscopy studies. Vessels examined at 14 days after seeding revealed more variable staining for beta-galactosidase yet, again, in most cases, an intact endothelial cell monolayer.
CONCLUSIONS These studies indicate the feasibility of generating segments of arterial vessels containing genetically modified cells in a rapid and efficient fashion. Further studies are now necessary to determine whether the local expression of specific polypeptides within a region of vessel for a finite period of time will be clinically useful.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association