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A Senolytic-Eluting Coronary Stent for the Prevention of In-Stent Restenosis
Cheesue Kim 1, Seul-Gee Lee 2, Songhyun Lim 1, Mungyo Jung 1, Sung Pil Kwon 1, Jihye Hong 3, Mikyung Kang 3, Hee Su Sohn 1, Seokhyeong Go 3, Sangjun Moon 1, Seung-Jun Lee 4, Jung-Sun Kim 2 4, Byung-Soo Kim 1 3 5
The vast majority of drug-eluting stents (DES) elute either sirolimus or one of its analogues. While limus drugs stymie vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation to prevent in-stent restenosis, their antiproliferative nature is indiscriminate and limits healing of the endothelium in stented vessels, increasing the risk of late-stent thrombosis. Oxidative stress, which is associated with vascular injury from stent implantation, can induce VSMCs to undergo senescence, and senescent VSMCs can produce pro-inflammatory cytokines capable of inducing proliferation of neighboring nonsenescent VSMCs. We explored the potential of senolytic therapy, which involves the selective elimination of senescent cells, in the form of a senolytic-eluting stent (SES) for interventional cardiology. Oxidative stress was modeled in vitro by exposing VSMCs to H2O2, and H2O2-mediated senescence was evaluated by cytochemical staining of senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity and qRT-PCR. Quiescent VSMCs were then treated with the conditioned medium (CM) of H2O2-treated VSMCs. Proliferative effects of CM were analyzed by staining for proliferating cell nuclear antigen. Senolytic effects of the first-generation senolytic ABT263 were observed in vitro, and the effects of ABT263 on endothelial cells were also investigated through an in vitro re-endothelialization assay. SESs were prepared by dip coating. Iliofemoral arteries of hypercholesteremic rabbits were implanted with SES, everolimus-eluting stents (EESs), or bare-metal stents (BMSs), and the area of stenosis was measured 4 weeks post-implantation using optical coherence tomography. We found that a portion of H2O2-treated VSMCs underwent senescence, and that CM of H2O2-treated senescent VSMCs triggered the proliferation of quiescent VSMCs. ABT263 reverted H2O2-mediated senescence and the proliferative capacity of senescent VSMC CM. Unlike everolimus, ABT263 did not affect endothelial cell migration and/or proliferation. SES, but not EES, significantly reduced stenosis area in vivo compared with bare-metal stents (BMSs). This study shows the potential of SES as an alternative to current forms of DES.