Inhibition of restenosis formation without compromising reendothelialization as a potential solution to thrombosis following angioplasty?
Stent thrombosis remains an important problem after the implantation of different stent types. A potential solution to this problem may be vasoactive agents with dual effects on different cell types like C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP). Therefore, in vitro and in vivo effects of CNP were investigated in a porcine restenotic model. Gene transfer of CNP in cultures of porcine vascular cells revealed up to 30% reduction of growth of smooth muscle cells (p<.05), but no suppression of endothelial growth using CNP. Applied in vivo, angiography revealed a trend of reduced restenosis formation in balloon-injured porcine arteries treated with CNP gene or beta-galactosidase (beta-Gal) control gene after three months (2.59 +/- 2.04-fold reduction, p = n.s.). Histologically, morphometry revealed significantly reduced neointima formation after treatment with CNP plasmid (7.26 +/- 1.44-fold reduction, p < .05). Evans blue staining demonstrated complete endothelial repair already 3 weeks after intervention using CNP. Transfer of CNP gene resulted in a significant inhibition of neointima formation without compromising endothelial repair. Therefore, use of the CNP gene may offer a solution to suppress restenosis formation while preventing subacute or late thrombosis.