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Genet Vaccines Ther. 2010 Aug 30;8:6. doi: 10.1186/1479-0556-8-6.

Combined vascular endothelial growth factor-A and fibroblast growth factor 4 gene transfer improves wound healing in diabetic mice.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Biotechnology, Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland. jozef.dulak@uj.edu.pl.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Impaired wound healing in diabetes is related to decreased production of growth factors. Hence, gene therapy is considered as promising treatment modality. So far, efforts concentrated on single gene therapy with particular emphasis on vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A). However, as multiple proteins are involved in this process it is rational to test new approaches. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether single AAV vector-mediated simultaneous transfer of VEGF-A and fibroblast growth factor 4 (FGF4) coding sequences will improve the wound healing over the effect of VEGF-A in diabetic (db/db) mice.

METHODS:

Leptin receptor-deficient db/db mice were randomized to receive intradermal injections of PBS or AAVs carrying β-galactosidase gene (AAV-LacZ), VEGF-A (AAV-VEGF-A), FGF-4 (AAV-FGF4-IRES-GFP) or both therapeutic genes (AAV-FGF4-IRES-VEGF-A). Wound healing kinetics was analyzed until day 21 when all animals were sacrificed for biochemical and histological examination.

RESULTS:

Complete wound closure in animals treated with AAV-VEGF-A was achieved earlier (day 19) than in control mice or animals injected with AAV harboring FGF4 (both on day 21). However, the fastest healing was observed in mice injected with bicistronic AAV-FGF4-IRES-VEGF-A vector (day 17). This was paralleled by significantly increased granulation tissue formation, vascularity and dermal matrix deposition. Mechanistically, as shown in vitro, FGF4 stimulated matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and VEGF receptor-1 expression in mouse dermal fibroblasts and when delivered in combination with VEGF-A, enhanced their migration.

CONCLUSION:

Combined gene transfer of VEGF-A and FGF4 can improve reparative processes in the wounded skin of diabetic mice better than single agent treatment.

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