Gene therapy approaches delivering fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) have shown promise as a potential treatment for increasing blood flow to ischemic limbs. Currently, effective noninvasive techniques to deliver plasmids encoding genes of therapeutic interest, such as FGF-2, are limited. We sought to determine if intradermal injection of plasmid DNA encoding FGF-2 (pFGF) followed by noninvasive cutaneous electroporation (pFGFE+) could increase blood flow and angiogenesis in a rat model of hindlimb ischemia. pFGFE+ or control treatments were administered on postoperative day 0. Compared to injection of pFGF alone (pFGFE-), delivery of pFGFE+ significantly increased FGF-2 expression for 10 days. Further, the increase in FGF-2 expression with pFGFE+ was sufficient to significantly increase ischemic limb blood flow, measured by laser Doppler perfusion imaging, beginning on postoperative day 3. Ischemic limb blood flow in the pFGFE+ treatment group remained significantly higher than all control groups through the end point of the study, postoperative day 14. Immunohistochemical staining of gastrocnemius cross sections determined there was a twofold increase in capillary density in the pFGFE+ treatment group. Our results suggest that pFGFE+ is a potential noninvasive, nonviral therapeutic approach to increase perfusion and angiogenesis for the treatment of limb ischemia.
Original Publication Citation
Ferraro, B., Cruz, Y. L., Baldwin, M., Coppola, D., & Heller, R. (2010). Increased perfusion and angiogenesis in a hindlimb ischemia model with plasmid FGF-2 delivered by noninvasive electroporation. Gene Therapy, 17(6), 763-769. doi:10.1038/gt.2010.43
Ferraro, B.; Cruz, Y. L.; Baldwin, M.; Coppola, D.; and Heller, R., "Increased Perfusion and Angiogenesis in a Hindlimb Ischemia Model with Plasmid FGF-2 Delivered by Noninvasive Electroporation" (2010). Bioelectrics Publications. 190.