Gene transfer of manganese superoxide dismutase reverses vascular dysfunction in the absence but not in the presence of atherosclerotic plaque

M. Zanetti, J. Sato, C. J. Jost, P. Gloviczki, Z. S. Katusic, T. O'Brien

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Impaired endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation (EDVR) is observed in hypercholesterolemia both in the presence and absence of morphological abnormalities and may be due to superoxide anions. Our aim was to assess the effect of gene transfer of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) to blood vessels from hyperc-holesterolemic animals with and without atherosclerotic plaque and to compare the effects of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and MnSOD over-expression on vascular dysfunction in the setting of atherosclerosis. Rabbits received a high-cholesterol diet for 10 weeks, resulting in abnormal EDVR in the absence of plaque in the carotids and the presence of plaque in the aorta. In Group 1, adenoviral vectors encoding MnSOD (Ad MnSOD) or β-galactosidase (Adβgal) were delivered to the carotid arteries in vivo. Four days later, transgene expression and vascular reactivity were assessed. In Group 2, segments of the aorta were transduced ex vivo with AdMnSOD, AdeNOS or both. Transgene expression and vascular reactivity were assessed 24 hr later. In Group 1, MnSOD expression was detected in AdMnSOD-ransduced vessels and impaired EDVR was reversed in the absence of atherosclerotic plaque. In Group 2 (with atherosclerotic plaque present), MnSOD and eNOS expression were detected by western analysis, and eNOS, but not MnSOD over-expression, improved EDVR whereas simultaneous over-expression of eNOS and MnSOD was no better than eNOS alone. Adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of MnSOD to nonatherosclerotic carotid arteries, but not atherosclerotic aorta, normalizes EDVR. eNOS gene transfer improves EDVR, even in the presence of plaque.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1407-1416
Number of pages10
JournalHuman gene therapy
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 1 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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