Hariawala, M. D., J. R. Horowitz, D. Esakof, D. D. Sheriff, D. Walter, B. Keyt, J. M. Isner and J. F. Symes. VEGF improves myocardial blood flow but produces EDRF-mediated hypotension in porcine hearts. Journal Of Surgical Research. 63:77-82, 1996.

Several recent studies have demonstrated the potential for improving myocardial perfusion by the continuous administration of angiogenic growth factors. Studies in our laboratory have shown that a single intraarterial or intravenous bolus of the endothelial cell specific mitogen vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) can significantly improve perfusion in a rabbit ischemic limb model. To test the efficacy of this therapeutic approach in chronic myocardial ischemia, 18 Yorkshire pigs underwent a left thoracotomy followed by placement of an ameroid constrictor around the proximal circumflex coronary artery, Gradual occlusion of the artery (26 +/- 4 days) was accompanied by identifiable hypokinesis of the posterolateral wall of the left ventricle (2D echo). Thirty days postoperatively, rhVEGF(165) (2 mg; n = 8) or saline (n = 10) was administered directly into the left coronary ostium. Postadenosine myocardial perfusion studies using colored microspheres 30 days later demonstrated superior blood flow in the ischemic zone of the VEGF-treated hearts (ischemic/normal ratio 1.09 vs 0.97, P < 0.05) compared with those receiving saline injection. Four of eight VEGF-treated animals succumbed, however, to severe hypotension following VEGF administration. Therefore 500 mu g of VEGF were administered intracoronary to five normal pigs. A significant drop in mean arterial pressure (-44.4 +/- 3.2%, P < 0.05 vs baseline) and peripheral resistance (-13.2 +/- 4.5%, P < 0.05 vs baseline) was accompanied by increased heart rate. TV administration of N-omega-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA), an EDRF inhibitor, restored blood pressure to baseline. We conclude that a single intracoronary bolus of VEGF is capable of significantly augmenting flow to collateral-dependent ischemic myocardium. The associated hypotension appears to be EDRF-mediated. Further studies are needed to define the best dose and route of administration of VEGF for the treatment of coronary insufficiency. (C) 1996 Academic Press, Inc.