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Int J Cardiol. 2009 Apr 3;133(2):191-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2007.12.034. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

Additive effect of AAV-mediated angiopoietin-1 and VEGF expression on the therapy of infarcted heart.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0793, USA.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a key angiogenic factor and has been used experimentally for induction of neovasculature in ischemic myocardium. However, blood vessels induced by VEGF are immature. Angiopoietin-1 (ang-1) has the ability to recruit and sustain periendothelial support cells and promote vascular maturation. Thus, co-expression of the two may yield a better result than expression of either one alone. Two adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV), CMVVEGF and CMVang-1 with the CMV promoter driving VEGF or ang-1 gene expression, respectively, were injected into ischemic mouse hearts individually or together in different ratios. The results show that co-injected groups had more capillaries than the CMVang-1 group and similar densities of capillaries and alpha-actin positive vessels as the CMVVEGF group. Neovasculature induced by CMVVEGF was leaky. In contrast, neovasculature in CMVang-1-injected or CMVVEGF and CMVang-1 co-injected hearts was less leaky than that in CMVVEGF-injected hearts. The group that received CMVang-1 and CMVVEGF in a 1:1 ratio had the smallest infarct size and best cardiac function and regional wall movement among all the groups. We conclude that ang-1 and VEGF can compensate for each others' shortcomings and yield a better therapeutic effect by acting together.

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