OBJECTIVETo determine whether increased 12/15-lipoxygenase (12/15LO) expression in vivo enhances neointimal formation in response to injury.METHODS AND RESULTS12/15LO expression in the vessel wall is increased in animal models of metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus. Increased expression of 12/15LO enhances cultured vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation, an effect mediated by the helix-loop-helix factor inhibitor of differentiation 3 (Id3). Carotid endothelial denudation was performed on apolipoprotein (Apo) E(-/-), ApoE(-/-)/12/15LO(-/-), C57BL/6, and 12/15LO-overexpressing transgenic mice. ApoE(-/-)/12/15LO(-/-) mice had attenuated and 12/15LO-overexpressing transgenic mice had enhanced neointimal formation compared with control mice. 12/15LO-overexpressing transgenic mice had greater postinjury carotid Id3 and Ki-67 expression, cell number, and fibronectin deposition compared with C57BL/6 mice. Loss of 12/15LO attenuated proliferation of cultured ApoE(-/-) VSMCs, whereas 12/15LO overexpression induced VSMC proliferation. Loss of Id3 enhanced immunoglobulin trascription factor (ITF)-2b binding to and activation of the p21(cip1) promoter and abrogated 12/15LO-induced VSMC proliferation.CONCLUSIONSTo our knowledge, these data are the first demonstration that increased expression of 12/15LO in the vessel wall enhances Id3-dependent cell proliferation, fibronectin deposition, and neointimal formation in response to injury. Results identify p21(cip1) as a potential target of the 12/15LO-Id3 pathway and suggest that modulation of this pathway may have therapeutic implications for targeting the increased risk of restenosis in patients with diabetes.