Endothelial nitric oxide synthase gene transfer enhances dilation of newborn piglet pulmonary arteries

Judy L. Aschner, Nora Kovacs, James V. Perciaccante, Jorge P. Figueroa, Nishadi Thrikawala, Gregory S. Robins, David W. Busija

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We determined the expression and functional correlate of in vitro transfection with a recombinant adenoviral vector encoding the gene for bovine endothelial nitric oxide synthase (AdCMVeNOS) or Escherichia coli β- galactosidase (AdCMVLacZ) in pulmonary endothelial cells (EC), vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), and pulmonary arteries (PA) from newborn piglets. AdCMVeNOS and AdCMVeLacZ vectors, grown in 293-cell monolayers, were purified by double-cesium gradient ultracentrifugation. Cell cultures and PA were incubated with increasing vector titers for 30 or 60 min, followed by incubation in fresh medium for 18 h at 37°C. LacZ expression was assessed by histochemical staining; eNOS expression was evaluated by Western blot analysis. Functional eNOS expression was determined by measurement of cGMP and quantification of the relaxation response to bradykinin (BK). In PA, LacZ transgene expression was preferentially localized to the adventitia and endothelium. Increased eNOS protein expression was observed in EC and VSMC transfected with AdCMVeNOS. Functional studies revealed increased cGMP abundance in cultured cells and enhanced relaxation to BK in AdCMVeNOS- transfected PA. These studies demonstrate that gene transfer with AdCMVeNOS results in functional expression and altered vasoactive responses in the neonatal pulmonary vasculature. Gene transfer with replication-deficient adenovirus vectors is a useful tool for the study of targeted genes in vascular biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H371-H379
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1 46-1
StatePublished - Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenovirus
  • Endothelium
  • Nitric oxide
  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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