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      A Mouse Model of Aortic Angioplasty for Genomic Studies of Neointimal Hyperplasia

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          We describe here a mouse model of diffuse aortic remodelling triggered by combined endothelial denudation/vascular distension injury using a novel balloon microcatheter. We validated this model in both outbred (NMRI) and inbred (BALB/c, C57BL/6) mouse strains and found evidence for differential strain susceptibility to neointimal hyperplasia, possibly attributable to genetic factors. Neointimal lesions were approximately 50% smaller in the inbred strains, a finding associated with profound cell loss in the aortic media at the early stages of the response to injury. A further insight from this model suggests an essential role for platelets in the initiation of neointimal hyperplasia, which apparently progresses through monocyte influx from the peripheral circulation. Our findings are consistent with monocyte recruitment driving neointimal growth, a minority expressing the endothelial cell marker FVIII. Overall, the time course and gross histological features of vascular remodelling seen here resemble those seen in other rodent models. However, this new mouse model offers distinct advantages over existing ones in that it involves the actual use of a catheter in a clinical manner, and because it allows the recovery of intact RNA from injured vessels in sufficient quantities for downstream molecular analyses.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Increase in circulating endothelial progenitor cells by statin therapy in patients with stable coronary artery disease.

          Therapeutic neovascularization may constitute an important strategy to salvage tissue from critical ischemia. Circulating bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) were shown to augment the neovascularization of ischemic tissue. In addition to lipid-lowering activity, hydroxymethyl glutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins) reportedly promote the neovascularization of ischemic tissue in normocholesterolemic animals. Methods and Results-Fifteen patients with angiographically documented stable coronary artery disease (CAD) were prospectively treated with 40 mg of atorvastatin per day for 4 weeks. Before and weekly after the initiation of statin therapy, EPCs were isolated from peripheral blood and counted. In addition, the number of hematopoietic precursor cells positive for CD34, CD133, and CD34/kinase insert domain receptor was analyzed. Statin treatment of patients with stable CAD was associated with an approximately 1.5-fold increase in the number of circulating EPCs by 1 week after initiation of treatment; this was followed by sustained increased levels to approximately 3-fold throughout the 4-week study period. Moreover, the number of CD34/kinase insert domain receptor-positive hematopoietic progenitor cells was significantly augmented after 4 weeks of therapy. Atorvastatin treatment increased the further functional activity of EPCs, as assessed by their migratory capacity. The results of the present study define a novel mechanism of action of statin treatment in patients with stable CAD: the augmentation of circulating EPCs with enhanced functional activity. Given the well-established role of EPCs of participating in repair after ischemic injury, stimulation of EPCs by statins may contribute to the clinical benefit of statin therapy in patients with CAD.
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            Intravenous transfusion of endothelial progenitor cells reduces neointima formation after vascular injury.

            Endothelial cell damage is one important pathophysiological step of atherosclerosis and restenosis after angioplasty. Accelerated reendothelialization impairs neointima formation. We evaluated the role of intravenously transfused endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) on reendothelialization and neointima formation in a mouse model of arterial injury. Spleen-derived mouse mononuclear cells (MNCs) were cultured in endothelial basal medium. A total of 91.8+/-3.2% of adherent cells showed uptake of acetylated low-density lipoprotein (Dil-Ac-LDL) and lectin binding after 4 days. Immunostaining and long-term cultures confirmed the endothelial progenitor phenotype. To determine the effect of stem cell transfusion on reendothelialization, mice received either fluorescent-labeled spleen-derived MNCs or in vitro differentiated EPCs intravenously after endothelial injury of the carotid artery. Transfused cells were strictly restricted to the injury site, and lectin binding confirmed the endothelial phenotype. Homing of transfused cells to the site of injury was only detectable in splenectomized mice. Cell transfusion caused enhanced reendothelialization associated with a reduction of neointima formation. Systemically applied spleen-derived MNCs and EPCs home to the site of vascular injury, resulting in an enhanced reendothelialization associated with decreased neointima formation. These results allow novel insights in stem cell biology and provide additional information for the treatment of vascular dysfunction and prevention of restenosis after angioplasty. The full text of this article is available online at
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              Isolation and transplantation of autologous circulating endothelial cells into denuded vessels and prosthetic grafts: implications for cell-based vascular therapy.

              Blood-borne endothelial cells originating from adult bone marrow were reported previously. These cells have the properties of an endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) and can be mobilized by cytokines and recruited to sites of neovascularization, where they differentiate into mature endothelial cells. Current protocols for isolation of EPCs from peripheral blood rely on enrichment and selection of CD34+ mononuclear cells. In this report, we describe a streamlined method for the isolation and expansion of EPCs from peripheral blood and evaluate their therapeutic potential for autologous cell-based therapy of injured blood vessels and prosthetic grafts. A subset of unfractionated mononuclear cells exhibited the potential to differentiate in vitro into endothelial cells under selective growth conditions. The cells were efficiently transduced ex vivo by a retroviral vector expressing the LacZ reporter gene and could be expanded to yield sufficient numbers for therapeutic applications. Transplantation of these cells into balloon-injured carotid arteries and into bioprosthetic grafts in rabbits led to rapid endothelialization of the denuded vessels and graft segments, resulting in significant reduction in neointima deposition. We conclude that transplantation of EPCs may play a crucial role in reestablishing endothelial integrity in injured vessels, thereby inhibiting neointimal hyperplasia. These findings may have implications for novel and practical cell-based therapies for vascular disease.

                Author and article information

                J Vasc Res
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                August 2005
                29 July 2005
                : 42
                : 4
                : 292-300
                aTransplantation Laboratory, Haartman Institute, University of Helsinki and University of Helsinki Central Hospital, and bRational Drug Design Program, Biomedicum Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
                85905 J Vasc Res 2005;42:292–300
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 6, References: 21, Pages: 9
                New Methods in Vascular Research


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