Kh Haider, H., L. Ye, S. Jiang, R. Ge, P. K. Law, T. Chua, P. Wong and E. K. Sim. Angiomyogenesis for cardiac repair using human myoblasts as carriers of human vascular endothelial growth factor. J Mol Med. 82:539-49, 2004.

This study investigated the potential of human skeletal myoblast carrying human VEGF(165) for angiomyogenesis for cardiac repair. A porcine heart model of chronic infarction was created in 18 female swine by coronary artery ligation. The animals were randomized into: group 1, DMEM injected ( n=6), group 2, myoblast transplanted ( n=5) and group 3, VEGF(165) myoblast transplanted ( n=7). Three weeks later 5 ml DMEM containing 3x10(8) myoblast carrying exogenous genes were injected into 20 sites in left ventricle intramyocardially in groups 2 and 3. Group 1 animals were injected 5 ml DMEM without cells. Animals were kept on 5 mg/kg cyclosporine per day for 6 weeks. Regional blood flow was measured using fluorescent microspheres. The heart was explanted between 6-12 weeks after transplantation for histological studies. Histological examination showed survival of lac-z expressing myoblasts in host tissue. Capillary density at low power field (x100) was 57.13+/-4.20 in group 3 which was significantly higher than the other groups. Regional blood flow was significantly improved 6 and 12 weeks after transplantation, which was 2.41+/-0.11 and 3.39+/-0.11 ml(-1) min(-1) g(-1), respectively, in group 3. Left ventricular ejection fraction increased from 31.25+/-4.09% to 43.0+/-2.68% at 6 weeks in group 3. Human myoblasts are potential transgene carriers for the myocardium, in addition to strengthening the weakened myocardium through myogenesis.