Cardiovascular diseases are a growing problem in developing countries; therefore, there is an ongoing intensive search for new approaches to treat these disorders. Currently, cellular therapies are focused on healing the damaged heart by implanting stem cells modified with pro-angiogenic factors. This approach ensures that the introduced cells are capable of fulfilling the complex requirements of the environment, including the replacement of the post-infarction scar with cells that are able to contract and promote the formation of new blood vessels that can supply the ischaemic region with nutrients and oxygen. This study focused on the genetic modification of human skeletal muscle cells (SkMCs). We chose myoblast cells due to their close biological resemblance to cardiomyocytes and the placental growth factor (PlGF) gene due to its pro-angiogenic potential. In our in vitro studies, we transfected SkMCs with the PlGF gene using electroporation, which has previously been proven to be efficient and generate robust overexpression of the PlGF gene and elevate PlGF protein secretion. Moreover, the functionality of the secreted pro-angiogenic proteins was confirmed using an in vitro capillary development assay. We have also examined the influence of PlGF overexpression on VEGF-A and VEGF-B, which are well-known factors described in the literature as the most potent activators of blood vessel formation. We were able to confirm the overexpression of VEGF-A in myoblasts transfected with the PlGF gene. The results obtained in this study were further verified in an animal model. These data were able to confirm the potential therapeutic effects of the applied treatments.
Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 26, 2017
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