Potent inhibition of arterial intimal hyperplasia by TIMP1 gene transfer using AAV vectors

Genaro A. Ramirez Correa, Serena Zacchigna, Nikola Arsic, Lorena Zentilin, Alessandro Salvi, Gianfranco Sinagra, Mauro Giacca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Seminal to the process of arterial restenosis after balloon angioplasty is extracellular matrix degradation by metalloproteinases (MMPs); activity of these proteins is strongly inhibited by the tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs). Here we exploit gene transfer using an adeno-associated virus (AAV) for TIMP1 gene delivery in a rat model of intimal hyperplasia. High-titer AAV-Timp1 efficiently transduced human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in vitro and inhibited the capacity of these cells to migrate through a Matrigel barrier. In injured rat carotid arteries, AAV vectors were found to transduce SMCs efficiently and to maintain transgene expression for several weeks in vivo. In AAV-Timp1-transduced animals, the intima:media ratio of injured carotids was significantly reduced by 70.5% after 2 weeks, by 58.5% after 1 month, and by 52.4% after 2 months from treatment. The decrease in intimal hyperplasia was paralleled by a significant inhibition of collagen accumulation and by increased elastin deposition in the neointima, two findings that relate to the inhibition of MMP activity. These results indicate that AAV vectors are efficient tools for delivering genes to the arterial wall and emphasize the importance of MMPs for the generation of intimal hyperplasia. Local TIMP1 gene transfer might thus represent an efficient strategy to prevent restenosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)876-884
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

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