Introduction of vascular smooth muscle cells expressing recombinant genes in vivo

Gregory Plautz, Elizabeth G. Nabel, Gary J. Nabel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Vascular smooth muscle cells contribute to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques by proliferating in response to vascular injury and releasing growth-promoting factors. Because their autocrine and paracrine effects are not fully understood, expression of such growth factor genes in specific cell types in vivo would help to determine their mechanism of action. We describe a method to transfer vascular smooth muscle cells expressing recombinant gene products to localized segments of the arterial wall. Vascular smooth muscle cells from the inbred Yucatan minipig were infected in vitro with an amphotropic, replication-defective retrovirus transducing the gene for Escherichia coli β-galactosidase. Vascular smooth muscle cells expressing this recombinant gene were implanted, using a catheter, into denuded iliofemoral artery segments of pigs in vivo. These arteries subsequently demonstrated β-galactosidase activity in cells of the intima and media. This method, which provides for the introduction of genetically modified smooth muscle cells, can be used to define the biological effects of recombinant genes in the vessel wall and potentially to provide alternative treatments of vascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-583
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Gene expression
  • Gene transfer
  • Vascular smooth muscle cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Introduction of vascular smooth muscle cells expressing recombinant genes in vivo'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this