Effect of adenovirus-mediated gene transfection of vascular endothelial growth factor on survival of random flaps in rats.
ABSTRACT To evaluate the effect of local application of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) via adenovirus-mediated gene transfer on survival of full thickness flaps selected randomly in rats.
Thirty Sprague-Dawley rats weighing 480-520 g were used in this study. A dorsal flap (8 cm x 2 cm) in full thickness with the pedicle located at the level of the iliac crest was designed. Then the rats received 1,012 pfu replication-deficient recombinant adenovirus carrying VEGF (AdCMV-VEGF group, n=10), 1,012 pfu recombinant beta-galactosidase adenovirus (AdCMV-Gal group, n=10) and 1 ml saline (saline group, n=10), respectively, in the distal two thirds of the proposed flap by means of subdermal injection at 8 different locations. Three days after treatment, the flaps were elevated as originally designed and sutured back in situ. The survival rate of the flaps was evaluated on day 7 after operation.
The survival rate of the flaps in the AdCMV-VEGF group increased significantly as compared with those of the AdCMV-Gal group (P<0.01) and the saline group (P<0.01). Immunohistochemical staining showed that VEGF was expressed in the survival flaps injected with AdCMV-VEGF. Histological analysis showed that more granulation tissues and angiogenesis were observed in the AdCMV-VEGF group than those in the AdCMV-Gal and the saline groups.
Local application of adenovirus-mediated VEGF165 cDNA may efficiently improve the survival of ischemic skin flaps.