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Pluronic® L64-mediated stable HIF-1α expression in muscle for therapeutic angiogenesis in mouse hindlimb ischemia

Authors Song H, Liu S, Li C, Geng Y, Wang G, Gu Z

Received 2 April 2014

Accepted for publication 5 May 2014

Published 21 July 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 3439—3452

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S65353

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Hongmei Song,1 Sijia Liu,1 Caixia Li,1,2 Yanyan Geng,1,3 Gang Wang,1 Zhongwei Gu1

1National Engineering Research Center for Biomaterials, Sichuan University, Chengdu, People’s Republic of China; 2Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, People’s Republic of China; 3Hebei University of Engineering, Handan, Hebei, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Intramuscular injection of plasmid DNA (pDNA) to express a therapeutic protein is a promising method for the treatment of many diseases. However, the therapeutic applications are usually hindered by gene delivery efficiency and expression level. In this study, critical factors in a pDNA-based gene therapy system, such as gene delivery materials, a therapeutic gene, and its regulatory elements, were optimized to establish an integrated system for the treatment of mouse hindlimb ischemia. The results showed that Pluronic® L64 (L64) was an efficient and safe material for gene delivery into mouse skeletal muscle. It also showed intrinsic ability to promote in vivo angiogenesis in a concentration-dependent manner, which might be through the activation of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cell (NF-κB)-regulated angiogenic factors. The combination of 0.1% L64 with a hybrid gene promoter (pSC) increased the gene expression level, elongated the gene expression duration, and enhanced the number of transfected muscle fibers. In mice ischemic limbs, a gene medicine (pSC-HIF1αtri/L64) composed of L64 and pSC-based expression plasmid encoding hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha triple mutant (HIF-1αtri), improved the expression of stable HIF-1α, and in turn, the expression of multiple angiogenic factors. As a result, the ischemic limbs showed accelerated function recovery, reduced foot necrosis, faster blood reperfusion, and higher capillary density. These results indicated that the pSC-HIF1αtri/L64 combination presented a potential and convenient venue for the treatment of peripheral vascular diseases, especially critical limb ischemia.

Keywords: gene therapy, Pluronic L64, angiogenesis, SV40 enhancer, HIF-1α

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