It may be therapeutically advantageous to alter tumour blood supply specifically. Nitric oxide is a potent vasodilator which is produced in many tissues by the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NOS). We have transfected cDNA for the inducible isoform of this enzyme (iNOS), under the control of the radiation-inducible promoter WAF1. The activity of the promoter was initially assessed using green fluorescent protein (GFP) in both endothelial cells and rat tail artery segments, Induction of protein expression by 9.5- and 4.5-fold respectively, was observed after a radiation dose of 4 Gy. Artery sections were then transfected with the WAF1/iNOS construct; this gave five-fold induction of iNOS protein after a dose of 4 Gy. The transfected artery was also tested functionally for relaxation, indicative of NO production. One hour after exposure to 4 Gy there was a significant (65%) relaxation of artery segments that had been preconstricted with phenylephrine. This could be partially reversed by the NOS inhibitor nitro-L-arginine. This study demonstrates that we can regulate vascular tone using an X-ray inducible promoter.
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - Jul 2000|