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Gene Ther. 2008 Oct;15(19):1344-50. doi: 10.1038/gt.2008.102. Epub 2008 Jun 19.

Local delivery of VEGF adenovirus to the uterine artery increases vasorelaxation and uterine blood flow in the pregnant sheep.

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Prenatal Gene Therapy Group, Institute for Women's Health, Royal Free and University College London Medical School, London, UK.

Erratum in

  • Gene Ther. 2008 Oct;15(20):1410. Nader, K A [corrected to Abi-Nader, K].


Impaired materno-placental perfusion causes two important obstetric complications, fetal growth restriction and preeclampsia. This study investigated whether adenoviral vector-mediated overexpression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the uterine arteries (UtAs) increases uterine artery blood flow (UBF). First-generation adenovirus vectors (5 x 10(11) particles) containing the VEGF gene (Ad.VEGF-A or -D) or the beta-galactosidase reporter gene (Ad.lacZ) were injected into the UtAs of pregnant sheep (n=6) at 88-102 days of gestation (term=145 days). UBF was measured using Doppler sonography before, and 4-7 days after injection. Mean UBF increased significantly from 233+/-156 (s.d.) ml min(-1) to 753+/-415 ml min(-1) following Ad.VEGF-A injection (P=0.005, n=5); Ad.lacZ infection had no significant effect. Organ bath experiments on uterine arterial sections 4-7 days after injection showed that, compared with Ad.lacZ vessels, Ad.VEGF-A-transduced vessels had a reduced contractile response to phenylephrine (E max 148+/-10.9 vs E max 228.2+/-27.5, P<0.05) but increased relaxation with bradykinin (pD2 (-log EC50) values 9.11+/-0.01 vs 8.65+/-0.11, P<0.05). Injection of Ad.VEGF-A into the UtAs increases UBF by enhancing vasodilatation. This may provide the basis for therapy in pregnancies complicated by uteroplacental insufficiency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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