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FEBS Lett. 1998 Sep 11;435(1):1-5.

Electroporation-mediated gene transfer in cardiac tissue.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Delivery of genes or macromolecules to cardiovascular tissues provides new therapeutic opportunities for the treatment of many acquired and inherited diseases. To investigate electroporation as a delivery method in cardiac tissue, embryonic chick hearts were studied for uptake of propidium iodide (PI) or DNA encoding either green fluorescent protein (GFP) or luciferase following electrical shock. PI uptake increased monotonically from 6% of heart tissue after 3 shocks to 77% with 12 shocks. GFP and luciferase expression varied in proportion to shock number, with detectable levels in all electrically treated hearts. Thus, electroporation promotes uptake of PI and DNA in cardiac tissue, suggesting further application of this method for therapeutic genes.

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