N-acetylcysteine inhibited nuclear factor-κB expression and the intimal hyperplasia in rat carotid arterial injury

K. Hayashi, H. Takahata, N. Kitagawa, G. Kitange, M. Kaminogo, S. Shibata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neointima formation associated with vascular restenosis is a complex local inflammatory process actively involving the vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation. Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) is a transactivator of a diverse group of genes whose activation has been strongly associated with the cellular response to inflammation. Since anti-oxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) inhibit NF-κB activity in vascular SMC in vitro, we examined the in vivo effect of the NAC on balloon-induced neointimal formation in the carotid artery of rats. Sprague-Dawley rats underwent balloon dilatation injury of the left carotid artery to induce neointimal formation. One group of these rats (n = 9) were treated with daily intraperitoneal injection of NAC (200 mg kg-1) for 14 consecutive days, whereas the control group (n = 9) was treated with saline. Fourteen days after the injury, the left carotid arteries were removed and analyzed under microscope. Several rats underwent the same treatment as above and were sacrificed three days after injury for immunohistochemistry and Western blot studies. A morphometric analysis revealed that there were significant differences in intima/media ratio between the two groups. Immunohistochemical and Western blotting studies demonstrated that NAC suppressed the injury-induced NF-κB activity in the medial SMC layer. Treatment with NAC suppresses vascular NF-κB activation and this inhibition reduced the pathological thickening of the arterial wall. The NF-κB pathway, therefore, represents an attractive therapeutic target for strategies to prevent vascular restenosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-738
Number of pages8
JournalNeurological research
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001


  • Carotid stenosis
  • Intimal hyperplasia
  • N-acetylcysteine
  • Nuclear factor-κB
  • Rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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