Background: Graft coronary artery disease (GCAD) is characterized by vascular narrowing resulting from intimal hyperplasia. Endothelin (ET)-1, derived from the vascular endothelium and macrophages, stimulates vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs), which leads to neointimal formation in donor graft coronary arteries. In this study, we hypothesized that antisense (AS) oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) for preproendothelin-1 (ppET-1) delivered to rat cardiac allografts by means of hyperbaric pressure would reduce the incidence of GCAD. Methods:PVG donor hearts were infused with ppET-1 AS ODN (80 μmol/liter), sense ODN, scrambled ODN or saline alone and incubated in a pressure chamber at 75 psi or ambient pressure for 45 minutes. Cardiac allografts were heterotopically transplanted into ACI rats treated with cyclosporine (7.5 mg/kg, Days 0 to 9). Allografts were procured at post-operative days (POD) 7 or 90. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay for ET-1 mRNA and ET01 immunohistochemistry (IHC) were performed at PODs 7 and 90. Elastic staining and IHC with anti-macrophage and α-SMC actin antibodies were performed to assess GCAD at POD 90.Results:Treatment with AS ODN and pressure significantly reduced ET-1 mRNA and protein expression. A significant reduction in GCAD was achieved with inhibition of ET-1 and was associated with attenuation of macrophages and SMCs in the neointima. Conclusions: Peri-operative ex vivo inhibition of ET-1 expression results in a reduction of GCAD. This highly targeted therapy may be a clinically viable strategy for the prevention of ET-1-induced GCAD following cardiac transplantation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine