Local L-arginine delivery after balloon angioplasty reduces monocyte binding and induces apoptosis

Josef Niebauer, Severin P. Schwarzacher, Motoya Hayase, Bingyin Wang, Robert S. Kernoff, John P. Cooke, Alan C. Yeung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background - Local administration of L-arginine after balloon angioplasty has been shown to enhance NO gene ration and inhibit lesion formation. In this study, we assessed the mechanisms by which local delivery of L-arginine inhibits lesion formation. Methods and Results - 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 μCi L-[2,3-3H]-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). Conclusions - 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1830-1835
Number of pages6
Issue number17
StatePublished - Oct 26 1999


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Catheterization
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Nitric oxide
  • Restenosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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