Abstract We determined the time course of gene expression following DNA/Lipofectin transfection of normal or previously injured arterial segments using direct intraluminal infusion following surgical exposure. Constructs possessing the firefly luciferase cDNA regulated by Simian virus 40, Rous sarcoma virus, or α-actin promoter were incubated together with Lipofectin for 30 minutes. Arterial segments were assayed for luciferase activity following harvest at 2-21 days. Without prior injury, luciferase activity was only 2.5-fold greater than background two days following gene transfer. Arterial injury three days before gene transfer resulted in luciferase activity 12.5-fold over background levels. This observation has clinical implications with regard to gene therapy following angioplasty, a procedure that is associated with endothelial cell denudation and smooth muscle cell proliferation. Maintenance of gene expression for several days could ameliorate the early smooth muscle migration and proliferation following arterial injury.