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J Cardiovasc Transl Res. 2014 Mar;7(2):232-41. doi: 10.1007/s12265-013-9518-4. Epub 2014 Jan 7.

Sustained delivery of insulin-like growth factor-1/hepatocyte growth factor stimulates endogenous cardiac repair in the chronic infarcted pig heart.

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Department of Cardiology, Division Heart and Lungs, University Medical Center Utrecht, Room E03.511, PO Box 85500, 3508 GA, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Activation of endogenous cardiac stem/progenitor cells (eCSCs) can improve cardiac repair after acute myocardial infarction. We studied whether the in situ activation of eCSCs by insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) could be increased using a newly developed hydrogel in chronic myocardial infarction (MI). One-month post-MI pigs underwent NOGA-guided intramyocardial injections of IGF-1/HGF (GF: both 0.5 μg/mL, n = 5) or IGF-1/HGF incorporated in UPy hydrogel (UPy-GF; both 0.5 μg/mL, n = 5). UPy hydrogel without added growth factors was administered to four control (CTRL) pigs. Left ventricular ejection fraction was increased in the UPy-GF and GF animals compared to CTRLs. UPy-GF delivery reduced pathological hypertrophy, led to the formation of new, small cardiomyocytes, and increased capillarization. The eCSC population was increased almost fourfold in the border zone of the UPy-GF-treated hearts compared to CTRL hearts. These results show that IGF-1/HGF therapy led to an improved cardiac function in chronic MI and that effect size could be further increased by using UPy hydrogel.

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