Indexed on: 30 Aug '08Published on: 30 Aug '08Published in: The Journal of Pathology
Recent evidence indicates that an imbalance between cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and blood vessel growth in the remote myocardium may contribute to heart failure in ischaemic heart disease. It remains, however, largely unknown which angiogenic factors are capable of stimulating vessel growth in the remote myocardium after myocardial infarction (MI) and whether systemic, rather than local, administration of such factors suffices to ameliorate post-MI cardiac recovery. We therefore analysed the effect of systemic placental growth factor (PlGF) delivery on myocardial recovery post-MI in mice. MI was induced by permanent ligation of the left anterior descending coronary (LAD) artery in C57Bl6/J mice, followed by systemic injection of a PlGF adenovirus, resulting in elevated circulating levels of PlGF for 4 weeks. Functional and morphological analysis revealed that PlGF treatment induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and improved cardiac recovery at day 28 post-MI. PlGF stimulated angiogenesis in the infarct border and vessel enlargement in the remote myocardium. In this mouse model, capillary-to-cardiomyocyte ratios in the remote myocardium were maintained post-MI, but PlGF increased the vascular perfusion area in balance with the cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Overall, systemic delivery of PlGF improves cardiac performance and promotes adaptive remodelling of the post-MI heart.