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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2000 Apr;20(4):915-22.

Antisense oligodeoxynucleotide inhibition of vascular angiotensin-converting enzyme expression attenuates neointimal formation: evidence for tissue angiotensin-converting enzyme function.

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  • 1Division of Gene Therapy Science, Department of Geriatric Medicine, Osaka University Medical School, Suita, Japan. morishit@geriat.med.osaka-u.ac.jp


It has been proposed that vascular angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) plays an important role in regulating vascular growth. Indeed, ACE inhibitors have been reported to prevent neointimal formation after vascular injury in a rat carotid artery model. However, classic pharmacological experiments cannot exclude the potential contributions of hemodynamics and the circulating renin-angiotensin system (RAS). In this study, we used antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) to obtain local blockade of vascular ACE expression without effects on systemic hemodynamics and circulating RAS. To increase the effectiveness of antisense action, we modified the hemagglutinating virus of Japan-liposome ODN delivery method by cotransfection with nuclear protein (high mobility group 1 [HMG-1]) and RNase H. In vitro experiments showed the enhanced efficacy of antisense ODN by cotransfection of HMG-1 and RNase H compared with ODN alone. In vivo transfection of antisense ACE ODNs into intact uninjured rat carotid artery resulted in a significant reduction of vascular ACE activity, and cotransfection of HMG-1 and RNase H showed further reduction. We examined the effects of local blockade of vascular ACE expression on neointimal formation after vascular injury. Transfection of antisense ACE ODNs resulted in the attenuation of neointimal formation, whereas sense and scrambled ODNs did not. Blood pressure, heart rate, and serum ACE activity were not affected by antisense treatment. The magnitude of vascular ACE inhibition correlated with the suppression of the neointimal size. Overall, this study demonstrates that local antisense ODN inhibition of vascular ACE expression attenuates neointimal formation independent of hemodynamics and circulating RAS. The results support the existence of a functional tissue angiotensin system in the rat vessel wall.

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