Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), an IL-6 class cytokine, is reported to be antiatherosclerotic Thus, we hypothesized that LIF expression might be altered during in-stent neointimal hyperplasia. Ossabaw miniature swine, a unique large-animal model of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, were used for these studies. Bare-metal stents were deployed in the left anterior descending and left circumflex coronary arteries. Stents were expanded to either 1.0 × luminal diameter (in accordance with current clinical practice) or 1.3 × (overexpansion). The development of in-stent neointimal hyperplasia was assessed 28-day postimplantation using intravascular ultrasound. The atherosclerotic coverage of the vessel wall was approximately five-fold higher in 1.0 × stents and approximately nine-fold higher in 1.3 × stents 4 weeks after deployment, compared with the same segments before stenting. LIF mRNA was elevated approximately 11-fold in stented segments, relative to unstented epicardial coronary arteries. LIF expression and the intima:media ratio were strongly correlated in 1.0 × stented vessels. Further studies to investigate the nature of the association between LIF and neointimal hyperplasia revealed that vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation was inhibited by LIF treatment in an in-vitro model of atherosclerosis (coronary artery organ culture). These novel and clinically relevant studies show that elevated LIF gene expression is predictive for in-stent neointimal hyperplasia, and suggest that LIF upregulation may be a compensatory mechanism in this setting.
- Coronary artery disease
- Intravascular ultrasound
- Vascular smooth muscle
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine