Perivascular mast cells regulate vein graft neointimal formation and remodeling

Junxi Wu, Gianluca Grassia, Helen Cambrook, Armando Ialenti, Neil MacRitchie, Jaclyn Carberry, Roger M. Wadsworth, Catherine Lawrence, Simon Kennedy, Pasquale Maffia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


Objective. Emerging evidence suggests an important role for mast cells in vein graft failure. This study addressed the hypothesis that perivascular mast cells regulate in situ vascular inflammatory and proliferative responses and subsequent vein graft neointimal lesion formation, using an optimized local mast cell reconstitution method. Methods and Results. Neointimal hyperplasia was induced by insertion of a vein graft into the right carotid artery in wild type and mast cell deficient Kit(W-sh/W-sh) mice. In some experiments, mast cells were reconstituted systemically (tail vein injection of bone marrow-derived mast cells) or locally (directly into the right neck area) prior to vein grafting. Vein graft neointimal lesion formation was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced in Kit(W-sh/W-sh) mice. Mast cell deficiency reduced the number of proliferating cells, and inhibited L-selectin, CCL2, M-CSF and MIP-3α expression in the vein grafts. Local but not systemic mast cell reconstitution restored a perivascular mast cell population that subsequently promoted neointimal formation in mast cell deficient mice. Conclusion. Our data demonstrate that perivascular mast cells play a key role in promoting neointima formation by inducing local acute inflammatory and proliferative responses. These results suggest that ex vivo intraoperative targeting of mast cells may have therapeutic potential for the prevention of pathological vein graft remodeling.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1192
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2015


  • vein graft
  • mast cells
  • neointima
  • cardiology


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