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Cardiovasc Toxicol. 2003;3(1):27-35.

Translation of PDGF cardioprotective pathways.

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Department of Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Vascular function in the aging heart is impaired and may underlie the increased morbidity and mortality associated with ischemic heart disease in older individuals. This vascular dysfunction is due, in part, to impairment of platelet derived growth factor (PDGF)-mediated pathways in senescent cardiac microvascular endothelial cells. Restoration of these pathways by intramyocardial injection of growth factor transiently rescues senescent cardiac angiogenesis. Longer-term reconstitution can be achieved experimentally by transplantation of young bone marrow-derived stem cells to promote senescent cardiac angiogenic function in the murine host. Moreover, enhancement of PDGF pathways is cardioprotective, markedly reducing the extent of myocardial injury following coronary occlusion. The clinical translation of these findings for treatment of ischemic heart diseases must overcome the limitation of the proatherosclerotic actions of PDGF, as well as the generation of autologous stem/precursor cell approaches, for the aging cardiovascular system. Strategies targeting growth factor and/or stem-cell homing to gene products downstream of PDGF in the cardiac microvasculature may provide positive feedback loops to enhance cardiac angiogenesis and protection from myocardial infarction and may offer a foundation for developing novel therapies for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease associated with aging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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