Endoluminal Gingival Fibroblast Transfer Reduces the Size of Rabbit Carotid Aneurisms via Elastin Repair
Objective—Matrix metalloproteinase-9 is considered to play a pivotal role in aneurismal formation. We showed that gingival fibroblasts (GF) in vitro reduced matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity via increased secretion of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1. We aimed to evaluate in vivo the efficacy of GF transplantation to reduce aneurism development in a rabbit model.
Methods and Results—Seventy rabbit carotid aneurisms were induced by elastase infusion. Four weeks later, GF, dermal fibroblast, or culture medium (DMEM) were infused into established aneurisms. Viable GF were abundantly detected in the transplanted arteries 3 months after seeding. GF engraftment resulted in a significant reduction of carotid aneurisms (decrease of 23.3% [P<0.001] and 17.6% [P=0.01] of vessel diameter in GF-treated arteries, 1 and 3 months after cell therapy, respectively), whereas vessel diameter of control DMEM and dermal fibroblast–treated arteries increased. GF inhibited matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity by tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 overexpression and matrix metalloproteinase-9/tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 complex formation, induced elastin repair, and increased elastin density in the media compared with DMEM-treated arteries (38.2 versus 18.0%; P=0.02). Elastin network GF-induced repair was inhibited by tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 blocking peptide.
Conclusion—Our results demonstrate that GF transplantation results in significant aneurism reduction and elastin repair. This strategy may be attractive because GF are accessible and remain viable within the grafted tissue.
- Received October 5, 2011.
- Accepted April 30, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.