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PloS One










Myocardial ischemia can damage heart muscle and reduce the heart's pumping efficiency. This study used an ischemic swine heart model to investigate the potential for gene electro transfer of a plasmid encoding vascular endothelial growth factor for improving perfusion and, thus, for reducing cardiomyopathy following acute coronary syndrome. Plasmid expression was significantly greater in gene electro transfer treated tissue compared to injection of plasmid encoding vascular endothelial growth factor alone. Higher gene expression was also seen in ischemic versus non-ischemic groups with parameters 20 Volts (p<0.03), 40 Volts (p<0.05), and 90 Volts (p<0.05), but not with 60 Volts (p<0.09) while maintaining a pulse width of 20 milliseconds. The group with gene electro transfer of plasmid encoding vascular endothelial growth factor had increased perfusion in the area at risk compared to control groups. Troponin and creatine kinase increased across all groups, suggesting equivalent ischemia in all groups prior to treatment. Echocardiography was used to assess ejection fraction, cardiac output, stroke volume, left ventricular end diastolic volume, and left ventricular end systolic volume. No statistically significant differences in these parameters were detected during a 2-week time period. However, directional trends of these variables were interesting and offer valuable information about the feasibility of gene electro transfer of vascular endothelial growth factor in the ischemic heart. The results demonstrate that gene electro transfer can be applied safely and can increase perfusion in an ischemic area. Additional study is needed to evaluate potential efficacy.

Original Publication Citation

Hargrave, B., Strange, R., Jr., Navare, S., Stratton, M., Burcus, N., Murray, L., . . . Heller, R. (2014). Gene electro transfer of plasmid encoding vascular endothelial growth factor for enhanced expression and perfusion in the ischemic swine heart. PLoS One, 9(12), e115235. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115235