Ultrasound-targeted transfection of tissue-type plasminogen activator gene carried by albumin nanoparticles to dog myocardium to prevent thrombosis after heart mechanical valve replacement
Ji Jun, Ji Shang-Yi, Yang Jian-An, He Xia, Yang Xiao-Han, Ling Wen-Ping, Chen Xiao-Ling
Department of Pathology and Cardiovascular Surgery, Shenzhen Sun Yat-Sen Cardiovascular Hospital, Shenzhen, Guangdong, People's Republic of China
Background: There are more than 300,000 prosthetic heart valve replacements each year worldwide. These patients are faced with a higher risk of thromboembolic events after heart valve surgery and long-term or even life-long anticoagulative and antiplatelet therapies are necessary. Some severe complications such as hemorrhaging or rebound thrombosis can occur when the therapy ceases. Tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) is a thrombolytic agent. One of the best strategies is gene therapy, which offers a local high expression of t-PA over a prolonged time period to avoid both systemic hemorrhaging and local rebound thrombosis. There are some issues with t-PA that need to be addressed: currently, there is no up-to-date report on how the t-PA gene targets the heart in vivo and the gene vector for t-PA needs to be determined.
Aims: To fabricate an albumin nano-t-PA gene ultrasound-targeted agent and investigate its targeting effect on prevention of thrombosis after heart mechanic valve replacement under therapeutic ultrasound.
Methods: A dog model of mechanical tricuspid valve replacement was constructed. A highly expressive t-PA gene plasmid was constructed and packaged by nanoparticles prepared with bovine serum albumin. This nanopackaged t-PA gene plasmid was further cross-linked to ultrasonic microbubbles prepared with sucrose and bovine serum albumin to form the ultrasonic-targeted agent for t-PA gene transfection. The agent was given intravenously followed by a therapeutic ultrasound treatment (1 MHz, 1.5 w/cm2, 10 minutes) of the heart soon after valve replacement had been performed. The expression of t-PA in myocardium was detected with multiclonal antibodies to t-PA by the indirect immunohistochemical method. Venous blood t-PA and D-dimer contents were tested before and 1, 2, 4, and 8 weeks after the operation.
Results: The high expression of t-PA could be seen in myocardium with increases in blood t-PA and D-dimer contents and thrombosis was prevented 8 weeks after operation.
Conclusion: We successfully fabricated an albumin nano-t-PA gene ultrasound-targeted agent that could prevent dog thrombosis after mechanical heart valve replacement. Our study provides an experimental basis for prevention of human thrombosis-related diseases.
Keywords: albumin nanoparticles, ultrasonic microbubbles, valve replacement
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