Background The introduction of drug-eluting stents (DES) has dramatically reduced restenosis rates compared with bare metal stents, but in-stent thrombosis remains a safety concern, necessitating prolonged dual anti-platelet therapy. The drug 6-Mercaptopurine (6-MP) has been shown to have beneficial effects in a cell-specific fashion on smooth muscle cells (SMC), endothelial cells and macrophages. We generated and analyzed a novel bioresorbable polymer coated DES, releasing 6-MP into the vessel wall, to reduce restenosis by inhibiting SMC proliferation and decreasing inflammation, without negatively affecting endothelialization of the stent surface. Methods Stents spray-coated with a bioresorbable polymer containing 0, 30 or 300 μg 6-MP were implanted in the iliac arteries of 17 male New Zealand White rabbits. Animals were euthanized for stent harvest 1 week after implantation for evaluation of cellular stent coverage and after 4 weeks for morphometric analyses of the lesions. Results Four weeks after implantation, the high dose of 6-MP attenuated restenosis with 16% compared to controls. Reduced neointima formation could at least partly be explained by an almost 2-fold induction of the cell cycle inhibiting kinase p27Kip1. Additionally, inflammation score, the quantification of RAM11-positive cells in the vessel wall, was significantly reduced in the high dose group with 23% compared to the control group. Evaluation with scanning electron microscopy showed 6-MP did not inhibit strut coverage 1 week after implantation. Conclusion We demonstrate that novel stents coated with a bioresorbable polymer coating eluting 6- MP inhibit restenosis and attenuate inflammation, while stimulating endothelial coverage. The 6-MP-eluting stents demonstrate that inhibition of restenosis without leaving uncovered metal is feasible, bringing stents without risk of late thrombosis one step closer to the patient.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)