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Microcirculation. 2006 Apr-May;13(3):187-97.

Myocardial gene expression of angiogenic factors in human chronic ischemic myocardium: influence of acute ischemia/cardioplegia and reperfusion.

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  • 1Medical Department B, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, the Heart Centre, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Denmark.



Angiogenic therapies in animals have demonstrated the development of new blood vessels within ischemic myocardium. However, results from clinical protein and gene angiogenic trials have been less impressive. The present study aimed to investigate the expression of angiogenic genes in human chronic ischemic myocardium and the influence of acute ischemia/cardioplegia and reperfusion on their expression.


Myocardial biopsies were taken from chronic ischemic and nonischemic myocardium in 15 patients with stable angina pectoris during coronary bypass surgery. Tissue samples were evaluated by oligonucleotide microarray and quantitative real-time PCR for the expression of angiogenic factors.


There was identical baseline expression of VEGF-A and VEGF-C mRNA in chronic ischemic myocardium compared with nonischemic myocardium. Reperfusion increased the gene expression of VEGF-A and VEGF-C mRNA both in nonischemic and ischemic myocardium. VEGF-A protein was detected mainly in the extracellular matrix around the cardiomyocytes in ischemic myocardium.


These data suggest that the nonconclusive VEGF gene therapy trials chronic coronary artery disease was not due to a preexisting upregulation of VEGF in chronic ischemic myocardium. There might be room for further therapeutic angiogenesis in chronic ischemic myocardium.

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