Ex vivo electroporation as a potent new strategy for nonviral gene transfer into autologous vein grafts

Terutoshi Yamaoka, Yoshikazu Yonemitsu, Kimihiro Komori, Hiromitsu Baba, Takuya Matsumoto, Toshihiro Onohara, Yoshihiko Maehara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Gene transfer to vein grafts has therapeutic potential to prevent late graft failure; however, certain issues, including efficacy and safety, have hindered the clinical application of this treatment modality. Here, we report the successful and efficient gene transfer of plasmid DNA via ex vivo electroporation into veins as well as into vein grafts. Two approaches were used: one involved transluminal in situ gene transfer using a T-shaped electrode (the "Lu" method), and the other was an adventitial ex vivo approach using an electroporation cuvette followed by vein grafting (the "Ad" method). The Lu method was carried out at 10 V, with optimal gene transfer efficiency in the in situ jugular veins of rabbits, and transgene expression was observed primarily in endothelial cells. However, when these veins were grafted into the arterial circulation, no luciferase activity was detected; this effect was probably due to the elimination of the gene-transferred cells as a result of endothelial denudation. In contrast, optimal and satisfactory gene transfer was obtained with the vein grafts subjected to the Ad method at 30 V, and transgene expression was seen primarily in adventitial fibroblasts. Gene transfer of endothelial nitric oxide synthase cDNA to the vein graft via the Ad method successfully limited the extent of intimal hyperplasia, even under hyperlipidemic conditions, at 4 wk after grafting. We thus propose that the Ad method via ex vivo electroporation may provide a novel, safe, and clinically available technique for nonviral gene transfer to sufficiently prevent late graft failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H1865-H1872
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5 58-5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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