Overexpression of ABCG1 protein attenuates arteriosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction in atherosclerotic rabbits

Münch, Götz; Bültmann, Andreas; Zhongmin Li; Holthoff, Hans-Peter; Ullrich, Julia; Wagner, Silvia; Ungerer, Martin
July 2012
Heart International;Jul2012, Vol. 7 Issue 2, p57
Academic Journal
The ABCG1 protein is centrally involved in reverse cholesterol transport from the vessel wall. Investigation of the effects of ABCG1 overexpression or knockdown in vivo has produced controversial results and strongly depended on the gene intervention model in which it was studied. Therefore, we investigated the effect of local overexpression of human ABCG1 in a novel model of vessel wall-directed adenoviral gene transfer in athero-sclerotic rabbits. We conducted local, vascular-specific gene transfer by adenoviral delivery of human ABCG1 (Ad-ABCG1-GFP) in cholesterol-fed atherosclerotic rabbits in vivo. Endothelial overexpression of ABCG1 markedly reduced atheroprogression (plaque size) and almost blunted vascular inflammation, as shown by markedly reduced macrophage and smooth muscle cell invasion into the vascular wall. Also endothelial function, as determined by vascular ultrasound in vivo, was improved in rabbits after gene transfer with Ad-ABCG1-GFP . Therefore, both earlier and later stages of atherosclerosis were improved in this model of somatic gene transfer into the vessel wall. In contrast to results in transgenic mice, over-expression of ABCG1 by somatic gene transfer to the atherosclerotic vessel wall results in a significant improvement of plaque morphology and composition, and of vascular function in vivo.


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