Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase Expression in Human Vein Grafts

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Background: The patency of vascular reconstructive procedures is limited by the development of intimai hyperplasia (IH). Nitric oxide (NO) seems to be beneficial in abrogating this process. Currently, there is little information concerning inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), the enzyme responsible for NO synthesis, and human vein grafts. The purpose of this study was to examine iNOS gene expression in human aortocoronary vein grafts (ACVG) and infrainguinal vein bypass grafts (IVG).

Methods: Nonthrombosed sections from ACVG (n = 5), IVG (n = 5), and control saphenous vein (SV; n = 4) were harvested and processed for RNA isolation. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed on samples using 3P radioactively end labeled primers. Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate-dehydrogenase (GAPDH) was the internal control, and results were expressed as iNOS pmol/ GAPDH pmol.

Results: There was a significant increase in the iNOS gene expresssion in the ACVG (0.049 ± 0.01) when compared with IVG (0.019 ± 0.001) or normal SV (0.011 ± 0.002; P ≤ 0.05). There was no significant difference between normal vein and the infrainguinal grafts. Sequencing of a fragment of the amplified 428 bp gene product confirmed 84% homology with the available gene bank human sequence.

conclusions: This study proves that iNOS is expressed in human vein bypass grafts. Additionally, there is a significant elevation of iNOS message in human ACVGs compared with IVG or normal SV. This difference may be the result of the unique vascular beds supplied by these grafts. Ultimately, manipulation of iNOS expression may lead to therapies to alleviate IH in these grafts.



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