Adventitial expression of recombinant endothelial nitric oxide synthase gene reverses vasoconstrictor effect of endothelin-1

Hisashi Onoue, Masato Tsutsui, Leslie Smith, Timothy O'Brien, Zvonimir S. Katusic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


The present study was designed to determine the effect of recombinant endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) gene expression on reactivity of canine basilar arteries to endothelin-1 (ET-1). Experiments were performed ex vivo. The arteries were exposed (30 minutes at 37°C) to adenoviral vectors encoding eNOS gene (AdCMVeNOS) or β-galactosidase reporter gene (AdCMVβ- Gal). Twenty-four hours after transduction, transgene expression was evident mainly in the vascular adventitia. Rings of control (nontransduced). AdCMVβGal- and AdCMVeNOS-transduced arteries with and without endothelium were suspended for isometric tension recording. Levels of guanosine 3',5'- cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) were measured by radioimmunoassay. During contractions to uridine 5'-triphosphate, ET-1 (10-10) to 3x10-9 mol/L) caused further increase in tension in control and AdCMVβ-Gal-transduced arteries. In contrast, ET-1 caused concentration-dependent relaxations of AdCMVeNOS-transduced arteries. The relaxations to ET-1 in AdCMVeNOS- transduced arteries were endothelium-independent. They were abolished by N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester or by chemical treatment of adventitia with paraformaldehyde before gene transfer. ET-1 (10-9 mol/L) significantly increased intracellular cGMP levels in AdCMVeNOS-transduced arteries without endothelium. In arteries transduced with AdCMVeNOS, higher concentrations (10-9 to 3x10-8 mol/L) of ET-2 also caused relaxations, whereas ET-3 and sarafotoxin, a selective ET(B) receptor agonist, did not produce any relaxations. The relaxations to ET-1 in AdCMVeNOS-transduced arteries were strongly reduced by BQ-123 (10-7 mol/L), an ET(A) receptor antagonist, but were not affected by BQ-788 (3x10-7 mol/L), an ET13 receptor antagonist. These results suggest that genetically modified adventitia can produce nitric oxide and cause relaxations in response to ET-1 via activation of ET(A) receptors. Our findings support a novel concept that successful transfer and expression of recombinant eNOS gene can lead to a qualitative change in responsiveness to vasoconstrictor substances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1029-1037
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1999


  • Adenoviral vector
  • Cerebral vasospasm
  • Endothelin
  • Gene transfer
  • Nitric oxide synthase
  • Receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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