Local gene transfer of phVEGF-2 plasmid by gene-eluting stents: An alternative strategy for inhibition of restenosis

Dirk H. Walter, Manfred Cejna, Larry Diaz-Sandoval, Sean Willis, Laura Kirkwood, Peter W. Stratford, Anne B. Tietz, Rudolf Kirchmair, Marcy Silver, Cindy Curry, Andrea Wecker, Young Sup Yoon, Regina Heidenreich, Allison Hanley, Marianne Kearney, Fermin O. Tio, Patrik Kuenzler, Jeffrey M. Isner, Douglas W. Losordo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Citations (Scopus)


Background - Drug-eluting stents represent a useful strategy for the prevention of restenosis using various antiproliferative drugs. These strategies share the liability of impairing endothelial recovery, thereby altering the natural biology of the vessel wall and increasing the associated risk of stent thrombosis. Accordingly, we tested the hypothesis that local delivery via gene-eluting stent of naked plasmid DNA encoding for human vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-2 could achieve similar reductions in neointima formation while accelerating, rather than inhibiting, reendothelialization. Methods and Results - phVEGF 2-plasmid (100 or 200 μg per stent)-coated BiodivYsio phosphorylcholine polymer stents versus uncoated stents were deployed in a randomized, blinded fashion in iliac arteries of 40 normocholesterolemic and 16 hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Reendothelialization was nearly complete in the VEGF stent group after 10 days and was significantly greater than in control stents (98.7±1% versus 79.0±6%, P<0.01). At 3 months, intravascular ultrasound analysis revealed that lumen cross-sectional area (4.2±0.4 versus 2.27±0.3 mm2, P<0.001) was significantly greater and percent cross-sectional narrowing was significantly lower (23.4±6 versus 51.2±10, P<0.001) in VEGF stents compared with control stents implanted in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Transgene expression was detectable in the vessel wall along with improved functional recovery of stented segments, resulting in a 2.4-fold increase in NO production. Conclusions - Acceleration of reendothelialization via VEGF-2 gene-eluting stents provides an alternative treatment strategy for the prevention of restenosis. VEGF-2 gene-eluting stents may be considered as a stand-alone or combination therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-45
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jul 6

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Local gene transfer of phVEGF-2 plasmid by gene-eluting stents: An alternative strategy for inhibition of restenosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this