Research ArticleAtherosclerosis

Neutrophil-Derived Cathelicidin Protects from Neointimal Hyperplasia

Science Translational Medicine  05 Oct 2011:
Vol. 3, Issue 103, pp. 103ra98
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3002531

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Abstract

Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty with stent implantation is used to dilate arteries narrowed by atherosclerotic plaques and to revascularize coronary arteries occluded by atherothrombosis in myocardial infarction. Commonly applied drug-eluting stents release antiproliferative or anti-inflammatory agents to reduce the incidence of in-stent stenosis. However, these stents may still lead to in-stent stenosis; they also show increased rates of late stent thrombosis, an obstacle to optimal revascularization possibly related to endothelial recovery. Here, we examined the contribution of neutrophils and neutrophilic granule proteins to arterial healing after injury. We found that neutrophil-borne cathelicidin (mouse CRAMP, human LL-37) promoted reendothelization and thereby limited neointima formation after stent implantation. We then translated these findings to an animal model using a neutrophil-instructing, biofunctionalized, miniaturized Nitinol stent coated with LL-37. This stent reduced in-stent stenosis in a mouse model of atherosclerosis, suggesting that LL-37 may promote vascular healing after interventional therapy.

Footnotes

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

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