Adenovirus-mediated gene transfer to human cerebral arteries

Vini G. Khurana, Leslie A. Smith, Deborah A. Weiler, Margaret J. Springett, Joseph E. Parisi, Fredric B. Meyer, W. Richard Marsh, Timothy O'Brien, Zvonimir S. Katusic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Gene therapy is being investigated as a putative treatment option for cardiovascular diseases, including cerebral vasospasm. Because there is presently no information regarding gene transfer to human cerebral arteries, the principal objective of this study was to characterize adenovirus-mediated expression and function of recombinant endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) gene in human pial arteries. Pial arteries (outer diameter 500 to 1000 μm) were isolated from 30 patients undergoing temporal lobectomy for intractable seizures and were studied using histologic staining, histochemistry, electron microscopy, and isometric force recording. Gene transfer experiments were performed ex vivo using adenoviral vectors encoding genes for bovine eNOS (AdCMVeNOS) and Escherichia coli β-galactosidase (AdCMVLacZ). In transduced arteries, studied 24 hours after exposure to vectors, expression of recombinant β-galactosidase and eNOS was detected by histochemistry, localizing mainly to the adventitia (n = 4). Immunoelectron microscopy localized recombinant eNOS in adventitial fibroblasts. During contractions to U46619, bradykinin-induced relaxations were significantly augmented in AdCMVeNOS-transduced rings compared with control and AdCMVLacZ-transduced rings (P < 0.01; n = 6). The NOS inhibitor L-nitroarginine methylester (L-NAME) caused significantly greater contraction in AdCMVeNOS-transduced rings (P < 0.001; n = 4) and inhibited bradykinin-induced relaxations in control and transduced rings (P < 0.001; n = 6). The current findings suggest that in AdCMVeNOS-transduced human pial arteries, expression of recombinant eNOS occurs mainly in adventitial fibroblasts where it augments relaxations to NO-dependent agonists such as bradykinin. Findings from the current study might be beneficial in future clinical applications of gene therapy for the treatment or prevention of cerebral vasospasm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1360-1371
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2000


  • Adenovirus
  • Cerebral vasospasm
  • Gene therapy
  • Human pial artery
  • Nitric oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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