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Atherosclerosis. 2006 Sep;188(1):19-27. Epub 2005 Nov 21.

Inhibition of atherogenesis in LDLR knockout mice by systemic delivery of adeno-associated virus type 2-hIL-10.

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Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Gene Therapy Program, Department of Internal Medicine, Slot 532, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 West Markham St., Little Rock, AR 72205, USA.


Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the arteries. Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is known to be an anti-inflammatory cytokine which might be useful for counteracting the development of atherosclerosis. As long-term systemic cytokine delivery is prohibitively expensive, gene therapy might be a suitable approach. To test this idea, low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) knockout mice were injected with recombinant adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV)/interleukin-10 virus or AAV/granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) virus and then put on a high-cholesterol diet. Upon harvesting the animals at 18 weeks, elevated blood lipids could be documented and AAV/IL-10 and AAV/GM-CSF DNA and mRNA could be found in various mouse organs. The mice receiving the AAV/IL-10 virus had significantly lower levels of atherogenesis (Sudan IV-staining and histology) than the untreated or the AAV/GM-CSF-treated animals, dropping from 53% to 17% (p < 0.05). The aortas of the AAV/IL-10-treated animals displayed higher IL-10 expression and lower CD68 and nitrotyrosine expression. These data are similar to those of Yoshioka et al. [Yoshioka, T, Okada, T, Maeda, Y, et al. Adeno-associatedvirus vector-mediated interleukin-10 gene transfer inhibits atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Gene Ther 2004;11:1772-9] in which AAV/IL-10 was delivered into the tibial muscle of ApoE-deficient mice, instead of tail vein injection used here. These data indicate that systemic AAV/IL-10 gene delivery, with resulting inhibition of inflammation and oxidative stress, was able to limit atherogenesis, and suggest that this approach is worthy of further study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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