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Authors Goel SA, Guo LW, Wang B, Guo S, Roenneburg D, Ananiev GE, Hoffmann FM, Kent KC
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Journal PLoS ONE Volume: 9 Issue: 2 Pages: e89349
Publish Date 2014
PubMed ID 24586708
PMC ID 3933427

Intimal hyperplasia is the cause of the recurrent occlusive vascular disease (restenosis). Drugs currently used to treat restenosis effectively inhibit smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation, but also inhibit the growth of the protective luminal endothelial cell (EC) lining, leading to thrombosis. To identify compounds that selectively inhibit SMC versus EC proliferation, we have developed a high-throughput screening (HTS) format using human cells and have employed this to screen a multiple compound collection (NIH Clinical Collection). We developed an automated, accurate proliferation assay in 96-well plates using human aortic SMCs and ECs. Using this HTS format we screened a 447-drug NIH Clinical Library. We identified 11 compounds that inhibited SMC proliferation greater than 50%, among which idarubicin exhibited a unique feature of preferentially inhibiting SMC versus EC proliferation. Concentration-response analysis revealed this differential effect most evident over an ∼10 nM-5 µM window. In vivo testing of idarubicin in a rat carotid injury model at 14 days revealed an 80% reduction of intimal hyperplasia and a 45% increase of lumen size with no significant effect on re-endothelialization. Taken together, we have established a HTS assay of human vascular cell proliferation, and identified idarubicin as a selective inhibitor of SMC versus EC proliferation both in vitro and in vivo. Screening of larger and more diverse compound libraries may lead to the discovery of next-generation therapeutics that can inhibit intima hyperplasia without impairing re-endothelialization.

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