Adeno-associated virus vector delivery to the heart.
ABSTRACT Cardiac gene transfer may serve as a novel therapeutic approach in the treatment of heart disease. For it to reach its full potential, methods for highly efficient cardiac gene transfer must be available to investigators so that informative preclinical data can be collected and evaluated. We have recently optimized AAV-mediated cardiac gene transfer protocols in both the mouse and rat. In the mouse, we have developed a procedure for intrapericardial delivery of vector in the neonate and successfully applied intravenous injections in adult animals. In the rat, we have developed a procedure for direct injection of vector into the myocardium in adults and established a protocol for vector delivery into the left ventricular anterior wall by ultrasound-targeted destruction of microbubbles loaded with AAV. Each protocol can be used to achieve safe and efficient cardiac gene transfer in the model of choice.
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ABSTRACT: Organ-directed gene transfer remains an attractive method for both gaining a better understanding of heart disease and for cardiac therapy. However, virally mediated transfer of gene products into cardiac cells requires prolonged exposure of the myocardium to the viral substrate. Pericardial injection of viral vectors has been proposed and used with some success to achieve myocardial transfection and may be a suitable approach for transfection of atrial myocardium. Indeed, such an organ-specific method would be particularly useful to reverse phenotypes in young and adult genetically altered murine models of cardiac disease. We therefore sought to develop a minimally invasive technique for pericardial injection of substances in mice. Pericardial access in anaesthetised, spontaneously breathing mice was achieved using continuous high-resolution ultrasound guidance. We could demonstrate adequate delivery of injected substances into the murine pericardium. Atrial epicardial and myocardial cells were transfected in approximately one third of mice injected with enhanced green fluorescent protein-expressing adenovirus. Cellular expression rates within individual murine atria were limited to a maximum of 20 %; therefore, expression efficiency needs to be further improved. Minimally invasive, ultrasound-guided injection of viral material appears a technically challenging yet feasible method for selective transfection of atrial epi- and myocardium. This pericardial injection method may be useful in the evaluation of potential genetic interventions aimed at rescuing atrial phenotypes in transgenic mouse models. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00210-012-0815-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.Archiv für Experimentelle Pathologie und Pharmakologie 12/2012; 386(3). DOI:10.1007/s00210-012-0815-2 · 2.36 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Myostatin is well established as a negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth, but its role in the heart is controversial. Our goal in this study was to characterize myostatin regulation following cardiomyocyte stress and to examine the role of myostatin in the regulation of cardiomyocyte size. Neonatal cardiomyocytes were cultured and stressed with phenylephrine. Adenovirus was used to overexpress myostatin or dominant negative myostatin in culture. Adeno-associated virus was used to overexpress myostatin or dominant negative myostatin in mice. Myostatin is upregulated following cardiomyocyte stress in an Erk-dependent manner that is associated with increased nuclear translocation and DNA binding activity of MEF-2. Myostatin overexpression leads to decreased and myostatin inhibition to increased cardiac growth both in vitro and in vivo due to modulation of Akt and NFAT3 pathways. Myostatin is a negative regulator of cardiac growth, and further studies are warranted to investigate the role of myostatin in the healthy and failing heart.PLoS ONE 04/2010; 5(4):e10230. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0010230 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Microbubble ultrasound contrast agents have the potential to dramatically improve gene therapy treatments by enhancing the delivery of therapeutic DNA to malignant tissue. The physical response of microbubbles in an ultrasound field can mechanically perturb blood vessel walls and cell membranes, enhancing drug permeability into malignant tissue. In this review, we discuss literature that provided evidence of specific mechanisms that enhance in vivo gene delivery utilizing microbubble contrast agents, namely their ability to 1) improving cell membrane permeability, 2) modulate vascular permeability, and 3) enhance endocytotic uptake in cells. Additionally, we review novel microbubble vectors that are being developed in order to exploit these mechanisms and deliver higher gene payloads with greater target specificity. Finally, we discuss some future considerations that should be addressed in the development of next-generation microbubbles in order to improve in vivo microbubble gene delivery. Overall, microbubbles are rapidly gaining popularity as efficient gene carriers, and combined with their functionality as imaging contrast agents, they represent powerful theranostic tools for image guided gene therapy applications.Theranostics 12/2012; 2(12):1208-22. DOI:10.7150/thno.4306 · 7.83 Impact Factor