Gene transfer of superoxide dismutase isoforms reverses endothelial dysfunction in diabetic rabbit aorta

Michela Zanetti, Jun'ichi Sato, Zvonimir S Katusic, Timothy O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Scopus citations


Increased production of oxygen free radicals is an important mechanism of endothelial dysfunction in diabetes mellitus. Our goal was to test whether adenovirus (Ad)-mediated gene transfer of copper/zinc (CuZn) or manganese superoxide dismutase (Mn SOD) improves relaxation of diabetic vessels. The aortas from 9 alloxan-induced diabetic mellitus (DM) and 16 control rabbits were used. Control and DM rings were transduced ex vivo with Ad vectors encoding Mn SOD (AdMn SOD), CuZn SOD (AdCuZn SOD), β-galactosidase (Adβgal), or diluents. In the absence of gene transfer, SOD activity was significantly increased in DM aortas. Transgene expression in DM AdCuZn SOD and DM AdMn SOD-transduced vessels was confirmed by Western blot analysis and by increased SOD activity (DM AdCuZn SOD, 76.2 ± 9.3; DM AdMn SOD, 65.2 ± 4.8; P < 0.05 vs. DM Adβgal; 50.9 ± 4.4 U/mg protein). Superoxide production was increased in DM Adβgal-transduced aorta and relaxations to acetylcholine were impaired in these vessels. Gene transfer of CuZn SOD and Mn SOD corrected both of these defects. Thus Ad-mediated gene transfer CuZn and Mn SOD to the diabetic aorta improves endothelium-dependent relaxation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6 49-6
StatePublished - 2001



  • Adenoviral vector
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Endothelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this