Background - Monocyte recruitment into the arterial wall and its activation may be the central event in atherogenesis. Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) is an important chemokine for monocyte recruitment, and its receptor (CCR2) may mediate such in vivo response. Although the importance of the MCP-1/CCR2 pathway in atherogenesis has been clarified, it remains unanswered whether postnatal blockade of the MCP-1 signals could be a unique site-specific gene therapy. Methods and Results - We devised a new strategy for anti-MCP-1 gene therapy to treat atherosclerosis by transfecting an N-terminal deletion mutant of the human MCP-1 gene into a remote organ (skeletal muscle) in apolipoprotein E-knockout mice. This strategy effectively blocked MCP-1 activity and inhibited the formation of atherosclerotic lesions but had no effect on serum lipid concentrations. Furthermore, this strategy increased the lesional extracellular matrix content. Conclusions - We conclude that this anti-MCP-1 gene therapy may serve not only to reduce atherogenesis but also to stabilize vulnerable atheromatous plaques. This strategy may be a useful and feasible form of gene therapy against atherosclerosis in humans.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)