Local administration of L-arginine after balloon angioplasty has been shown to enhance NO generation and inhibit lesion formation. In this study, we assessed the mechanisms by which local delivery of L-arginine inhibits lesion formation.New Zealand White rabbits (n=56) were fed a 1% cholesterol diet. After 1 week, both iliac arteries were balloon-denuded, and a local drug delivery catheter was introduced into both iliac arteries to deliver either L-arginine (800 mg/5 mL with and without 100 microCi L-[2,3-(3)H]-arginine) or saline. Monocyte-endothelial interaction was assessed by functional binding assay; NO activity was measured by chemiluminescence. Intramural administration of radioactively labeled L-arginine led to significantly higher counts in comparison to the contralateral segment for up to 1 week after delivery (676+/-223 versus 453+/-93 cpm/mg; P<0.02); this was associated with significantly higher NO levels in the L-arginine-treated segments (394.4+/-141.6 versus 86.3+/-34.3 nmol/mg; P<0.01). Even after 2 to 3 weeks, monocyte binding was significantly decreased by treatment with L-arginine as compared with saline infusion (P<0.01). After 4 weeks, there was a 9-fold greater number of apoptotic cells in the vessel wall of L-arginine as compared with the saline-treated segments (P<0.05).Intramural delivery of L-arginine immediately after angioplasty causes a sustained increase in tissue L-arginine levels associated with enhancement of local NO synthesis. The local increase in NO synthesis is associated with an attenuation of monocyte binding and increased apoptosis of resident macrophages. This treatment strategy could be valuable for the prevention and management of restenosis.
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View details for PubMedID 10534472