In this study, we have examined local non-viral gene delivery, transfection, and therapeutic efficacy of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) encoding plasmid DNA administered using coated stents in a rabbit iliac artery restenosis model.

Lipopolyplexes (LPPs) with eNOS expressing plasmid DNA were immobilized on stainless steel stents using poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) and type B gelatin coatings. The gene-eluting stents were implanted bilaterally in the denuded iliac arteries and eNOS transfection and therapeutic efficacy were examined 14 days after implantation.

The results show that non-viral lipopolyplex-coated stents can efficiently tranfect eNOS locally in the arterial lumen assessed by PCR and ELISA. Human eNOS ELISA levels were significantly raised 24 hours after transfection compared to controls (125 pg eNOS compared to <50 pg for all controls including naked>DNA). Local eNOS production suppressed smooth muscle cell proliferation and promoted re-endothelialization of the artery showing a significant reduction in restenosis of 1.75 neointima/media ratio for stents with lipoplexes encoding eNOS compared with 2.3 neointima/media ratio for stents with lipoplexes encosing an empty vector.

These results support the hypothesis that a potent non-viral gene vector encoding for eNOS coated onto a stent can inhibit restenosis through inhibition of smooth muscle cell growth and promotion of a healthy endothelium.


Originally published in BioMedical Engineering OnLine v.9 no.56 (2010). doi: 10.1186/1475-925X-9-56


restenosis, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), non-viral gene delivery

Subject Categories

Genetic transformation, Stents (Surgery)


Medical Genetics | Pharmacology



Publication Date


Rights Information

Copyright ©2010 Brito et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Rights Holder

Luis A. Brito, et al.

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