In vivo gene transfer of endothelial nitric oxide synthase to carotid arteries from hypercholesterolemic rabbits enhances endothelium-dependent relaxations

Jun'ichi Sato, Tibor Mohácsi, Audra Noel, Corey Jost, Peter Gloviczki, Geza Mozes, Zvonimir S. Katusic, Timothy O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - Hypercholesterolemia is associated with abnormal endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation due to decreased nitric oxide bioavailability. Our aim was to examine the effect of adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) to the hypercholesterolemic rabbit carotid artery in vivo. In addition, we examined whether adenovirus-mediated gene transfer was associated with vascular dysfunction. Methods - Rabbits were fed a 1% cholesterol diet for 4 weeks followed by a 0.5% cholesterol diet for 6 weeks. Vascular reactivity was assessed in nontransduced carotid arteries from chow- and cholesterol-fed animals. In addition, carotid arteries were surgically isolated, and 2 separate doses of adenoviral vectors encoding eNOS or β-galactosidase (AdβGal) on the contralateral side were delivered to the lumen (1 x 1010 and 5 x 1010 pfu/mL). Results - Abnormal acetylcholine-mediated endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation was detected in the carotid artery from cholesterol-fed animals, whereas responses to calcium ionophore A23187 and diethylamine NONOate were normal. Vascular reactivity was similar in nontransducer and AdβGal-transduced hypercholesterolemic vessels. In vessels transduced with eNOS, transgene expression was demonstrated by immunostaining in both the endothelium and the adventitia and by Western blot analysis. High-dose but not low-dose eNOS gene transfer enhanced endothelium-dependent relaxation in vessels from cholesterol-fed rabbits. Conclusions - Adenovirus- mediated gene transfer of eNOS to carotid arteries of cholesterol-fed animals improves endothelium-dependent relaxation when an optimal viral titer is administered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)968-975
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2000



  • Gene transfer
  • Genetic vector
  • Hy-percholesterolemia
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitric oxide synthase
  • Rabbits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

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