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EuroIntervention. 2010 May;6(1):134-40. doi: 10.4244/.

A perlecan-inducing compound significantly inhibits smooth muscle cell function and in-stent intimal hyperplasia: novel insights into the diverse biological effects of perlecan.

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The Roy and Ann Foss Cardiovascular Research Program, Terrence Donnelly Heart Center, St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Perlecan is the major heparan sulfate proteoglycan in the arterial wall. Previous studies have suggested that perlecan is a potent inhibitor of smooth muscle cell (SMC) activity. Therefore, perlecan overexpression may serve as a therapeutic modality to prevent in-stent restenosis (ISR). We have investigated a novel compound (RUS3108), identified in a SMC based screen to induce perlecan synthesis in SMC. The aims of this study were to assess the in vitro effects of RUS3108 and the effects of RUS3108-eluting stents in preventing ISR.


Rabbit aortic SMC and bovine aortic endothelial cells (EC) were used in this study. Immunohistochemistry showed that RUS3108-treated SMC over-expressed perlecan indicating the drug effects. Furthermore, RUS3108 induced a SMC differentiated phenotype by SMembryonic staining. RUS3108 (1 microM) inhibited 3H-thymidine incorporation by >50%, which was completely reversed by a perlecan antibody. RUS3108 also inhibited SMC migration (Boyden chamber) and MMP-9 activity. In contrast, RUS3108 (100nM) modestly stimulated EC 3H-thymidine incorporation by 22% (p<0.02). In vivo, a total of 30 stents were deployed in rabbit iliac arteries as follows: 1) bare metal stents (n=10), 2) polymer onlycoated stents (n=10), and 3) polymer-coated stents containing RUS3108 (n=10). Rabbits were sacrificed at four weeks and stented segments were subjected to morphometric analysis. Intimal cross sectional area was significantly lower in the RUS3108-eluting stent group (0.31+ or -0.27 mm(2) versus 1.0 + or - 0.31 and 1.25 + or - 0.51 in the bare metal stents and polymer only coated stents groups, respectively, p<0.0001).


RUS3108 is a novel perlecan-inducing compound, which is a potent inhibitor of SMC activity and a modest stimulator of EC proliferation. RUS3108-eluting stents may serve as an excellent modality for the prevention of ISR.

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