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All-trans-retinoic acid decreases vein graft intimal hyperplasia and matrix metalloproteinase activity in vivo. J Surg Res 2000 May 15;90(2):183-90



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0034657767   21 Citations


BACKGROUND: Development of vein graft intimal hyperplasia has been associated with increased activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). All-trans-retinoic acid (atRA) decreases expression and activity of MMPs in tissue culture and has decreased intimal hyperplasia following arterial balloon catheter injury. We examined the effect of oral administration of atRA on intimal hyperplasia and MMP expression in an animal model of vein bypass grafting.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Interposition jugular vein bypass grafts were placed in the carotid artery of New Zealand white rabbits. Animals received either atRA (10 mg/kg/day) or vehicle (corn oil) for a period of 2 weeks. Retinoic acid serum levels were determined by HPLC. Intimal and medial areas were measured using morphometric analysis of perfusion-fixed vein graft specimens, and intimal thickness was calculated using circumferential measurements. Expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, and TIMP-1 in vein grafts and unoperated control veins was determined using Northern analysis, and proteolytic activity was determined using substrate gel zymography.

RESULTS: Animals treated with atRA had significantly elevated serum levels of this compound and its metabolites. A decrease in intimal to medial ratio was noted after 28 days in vein grafts from treated animals (0.63 vs 0.88, P < 0.01), and a decrease in calculated intimal thickness was noted at 7 and 28 days. Expression of MMP-2 was decreased in treated animals 7 days following surgery, and expression of both MMP-2 and MMP-9 was decreased at 28 days. A decrease in proteolytic activity was noted on zymography at 68 kDa, 7 and 28 days following surgery in vein grafts from animals treated with atRA, corresponding with a decrease in the active form of MMP-2. Increased expression of TIMP-1 was noted in vein grafts from both the treated and the control groups, 7 and 28 days following graft placement.

CONCLUSIONS: Oral administration of all-trans-retinoic acid resulted in decreased intimal hyperplasia in an animal model of vein bypass grafting. This was associated with decreased expression and activity of MMP-2 in treated animals.

Author List

Leville CD, Dassow MS, Seabrook GR, Jean-Claude JM, Towne JB, Cambria RA


Gary R. Seabrook MD Chief, Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Antineoplastic Agents
Blotting, Northern
Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
Jugular Veins
Matrix Metalloproteinase 2
Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
RNA, Messenger
Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1
Tunica Intima
Wound Healing
jenkins-FCD Prod-467 7c8a156729bba74d775d9c546792cde315827259