Although human heme oxygenase-1 (hHO-1) could provide a useful approach for cellular protection in the ischemic heart, constitutive overexpression of hHO-1 may lead to unwanted side effects. To avoid this, we designed a hypoxia-regulated hHO-1 gene therapy system that can be switched on and off. This vigilant plasmid system is composed of myosin light chain-2v promoter and a gene switch that is based on an oxygen-dependent degradation domain from the hypoxia inducible factor-1-α. The vector can sense ischemia and switch on the hHO-1 gene system, specifically in the heart. In an in vivo experiment, the vigilant hHO-1 plasmid or saline was injected intramyocardially into myocardial infarction mice or sham operation mice. After gene transfer, expression of hHO-1 was only detected in the ischemic heart treated with vigilant hHO-1 plasmids. Masson trichrome staining showed significantly fewer fibrotic areas in vigilant hHO-1 plasmids-treated mice compared with saline control (43.0%±4.8% versus 62.5%±3.3%, P<0.01). The reduction of interstitial fibrosis is accompanied by an increase in myocardial hHO-1 expression in peri-infarct border areas, concomitant with higher Bcl-2 levels and lower Bax, Bak, and caspase 3 levels in the ischemic myocardium compared with saline control. By use of a cardiac catheter, heart from vigilant hHO-1 plasmids-treated mice showed improved recovery of contractile and diastolic performance after myocardial infarction compared with saline control. This study documents the beneficial regulation and therapeutic potential of vigilant plasmid-mediated hHO-I gene transfer. This novel gene transfer strategy can provide cardiac-specific protection from future repeated bouts of ischemic injury.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Apr 2004|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine