First-generation, E1-deleted adenoviral vectors (E1-AV) can transduce the vascular endothelium with high efficiency, but their use is limited by the resulting acute endothelial injury and the long-term development of intimal hyperplasia. To reduce the impact of viral proteins on the gene-modified cells, a second-generation adenoviral vector with an additional pair of deletions in the E4 region was developed. To determine whether this E1/E4-AV vector would be useful for vascular gene transfer, we directly compared the efficiency of gene transfer to uninjured rabbit carotid arteries using either an E1/E4-AV or an E1-AV vector encoding beta-galactosidase. Both vectors efficiently transduced vascular endothelium; however, the E1/E4-AV vector gene-modified vessels showed higher beta-galactosidase expression 10 days after gene transfer. Importantly, the E1/E4-AV vector produced substantially less endothelial cell activation, less inflammation, and reduced neointimal hyperplasia compared with the E1-AV vector-treated vessels. The E1-AV vector-transduced vessels also demonstrated significantly impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation whereas the E1/E4-AV vector did not impact vasomotor function, even at doses of virus in 5-fold excess of the amount required for >90% transduction of the endothelium. We conclude that the E1/E4-AV vector is superior to the E1-AV vector for vascular gene therapy because of the prolonged transgene expression, reduced vascular inflammation, reduced intimal hyperplasia, and maintenance of normal vasomotor function.


Journal article


Circ Res

Publication Date





911 - 917


Adenoviridae, Adenovirus E1 Proteins, Adenovirus E1A Proteins, Adenovirus E4 Proteins, Animals, Carotid Arteries, Endothelium, Vascular, Gene Expression Regulation, Genetic Therapy, Genetic Vectors, Immunohistochemistry, Inflammation, Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1, Male, Rabbits, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, Transgenes, Tunica Intima, Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1, Vascular Diseases, Vasodilation, beta-Galactosidase