Author(s): Bauters C, Asahara T, Zheng LP, Takeshita S, Bunting S,
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Abstract This study was designed to assess the physiological consequences of augmented vascularity induced by administration of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), an endothelial cell-specific mitogen, in a rabbit model of hindlimb ischemia. Ten days after excision of the common and superficial femoral arteries from one hindlimb of 24 New Zealand White rabbits, VEGF (n = 15) or saline (control; n = 9) was selectively injected into the ipsilateral internal iliac artery. Limb perfusion was evaluated immediately pre-VEGF (baseline) and again at days 10 and 30. A Doppler guide wire was advanced to the internal iliac artery to record flow velocity at rest and at maximum flow velocity provoked by intra-arterial injection of papaverine. At baseline and at day 10, no differences in flow parameters were observed between the control and the VEGF-treated animals. By day 30, however, flow at rest (P < 0.05), maximum flow velocity (P < 0.001), and maximum blood flow (P < 0.001) were all significantly higher in the VEGF-treated group. These physiological findings complement previous-anatomic studies by providing evidence that a single intra-arterial bolus of VEGF augments flow, particularly maximum flow, in the rabbit ischemic hindlimb. These data thus support the notion that VEGF administration represents a potential treatment strategy for certain patients with lower extremity ischemia.
This article was published in Am J Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy