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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2003 Jul;285(1):H173-82. Epub 2003 Mar 6.

Intramuscular gene transfer of FGF-2 attenuates endothelial dysfunction and inhibits intimal hyperplasia of vein grafts in poor-runoff limbs of rabbit.

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Department of Surgery and Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan.


We previously demonstrated that sustained disturbance of endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation and poor distal runoff in ischemic limbs were critical factors affecting the neointimal development of autologous vein grafts (VGs). Also, we recently showed the superior therapeutic potential of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF/FGF-2) boosted by the recombinant Sendai virus (SeV) for severe limb ischemia compared with that of vascular endothelial growth factor. Here, the effect of FGF-2 on neointimal hyperplasia of VGs was examined in a rabbit model of poor-runoff limbs. Two weeks after initial surgery for the induction of poor-runoff, SeV-expressing human FGF-2 (SeV-hFGF2) or that encoding firefly luciferase (109 plaque-forming units/head) was injected into the thigh and calf muscle. At that time, the femoral vein was implanted in the femoral artery in an end-to-end manner in some groups. FGF-2 gene-transferred limbs demonstrated significantly increased blood flow assessed not only by laser Doppler flow image but also by ultrasonic transit-time flowmeter (USTF). USTF also showed a significant increase in the blood flow ratio of the deep femoral artery to external iliac artery, indicating that collateral flow was significantly restored in the thigh muscles (P < 0.01). Reduction of neointimal hyperplasia was also observed in the VGs treated by SeV-hFGF2; these grafts demonstrated significant restoration of endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation. These findings thus extend the indications of therapeutic angiogenesis using SeV-hFGF2 to include not only limb salvage but also prevention of late graft failure.

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