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Circulation. 2004 May 25;109(20):2454-61. Epub 2004 May 17.

Gene transfer of stromal cell-derived factor-1alpha enhances ischemic vasculogenesis and angiogenesis via vascular endothelial growth factor/endothelial nitric oxide synthase-related pathway: next-generation chemokine therapy for therapeutic neovascularization.

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Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan



Stromal cell-derived factor-1alpha (SDF-1alpha) is implicated as a chemokine for endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). We therefore hypothesized that SDF-1alpha gene transfer would induce therapeutic neovascularization in vivo by functioning as a chemokine of EPC.


To examine SDF-1alpha-induced mobilization of EPC, we used bone marrow-transplanted mice whose blood cells ubiquitously express beta-galactosidase (LacZ). We produced unilateral hindlimb ischemia in the mice and transfected them with plasmid DNA encoding SDF-1alpha or empty plasmids into the ischemic muscles. SDF-1alpha gene transfer mobilized EPCs into the peripheral blood, augmented recovery of blood perfusion to the ischemic limb, and increased capillary density associated with partial incorporation of LacZ-positive cells into the capillaries of the ischemic limb, suggesting that SDF-1alpha induced vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. SDF-1alpha gene transfer did not affect ischemia-induced expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) but did enhance Akt and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity. Blockade of VEGF or NOS prevented all such SDF-1alpha-induced effects.


SDF-1alpha gene transfer enhanced ischemia-induced vasculogenesis and angiogenesis in vivo through a VEGF/eNOS-related pathway. This strategy might become a novel chemokine therapy for next generation therapeutic neovascularization.

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