Background. Gene transfer to lung grafts may be useful in ameliorating ischemia-reperfusion injury and rejection. Proximal pulmonary artery endothelial transfection may provide beneficial downstream effects on the whole lung graft. We have already demonstrated the feasibility of in vivo and ex vivo transfection in proximal pulmonary artery segments of rat lung grafts. The aim of this study was to determine the optimal conditions for and duration of transfection. Methods. Orthotopic left lung transplantation was performed in F344 rats after donor lung proximal pulmonary artery segments were isolated and injected with lipid 67/DOPE-chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) complementary deoxyribonucleic acid construct. Effect of exposure time was studied by exposing donor pulmonary artery segments to the construct for 0, 30, and 60 minutes prior to transplantation. In another series of experiments, pulmonary artery segments were exposed to the construct for 60 minutes prior to transplantation. Onset and duration of gene expression were determined after sacrificing animals at 3, 6, 12, and 24 hours and 3 days as well as 1 week, 2, 4, and 8 weeks after transplantation. Effect of exposure temperature was studied by exposing pulmonary artery segments to the construct for 60 minutes at 4°, 10°, and 23°C. These recipients were sacrificed on postoperative day 3. Effect of exposure pressure was studied by using two volumes of the construct (0.01 and 0.03 mL). These recipients were sacrificed on postoperative day 3. Transgene expression was assessed by chloramphenicol acetyl transferase activity assay. Results. Transgene expression was similar after 30- and 60-minute exposure. Transgene expression was evident within 3 to 6 hours after operation and persisted at 8 weeks after operation. Expression was detected at all temperatures and was equivalent at both exposure pressures. Conclusions. Gene transfection into graft pulmonary artery segments is possible under a range of conditions applicable to clinical lung transplantation.