Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy

Direct injection of kit ligand-2 lentivirus improves cardiac repair and rescues mice post-myocardial infarction.

PMID 19002160


Myocardial infarction (MI) and subsequent adverse remodeling cause heart failure. Previously we demonstrated a role for Kit ligand (KL) in improving cardiac function post-MI. KL has two major isoforms; KL-1 is secreted whereas KL-2 is predominantly membrane bound. We demonstrate here first that KL-2-deficient mice have worse survival and an increased heart/bodyweight ratio post-MI compared to mice with reduced c-Kit receptor expression. Next we synthesized recombinant lentiviral vectors (LVs) that engineered functional expression of murine KL-1 and KL-2. For in vivo analyses, we directly injected these LVs into the left ventricle of membrane-bound KL-deficient Sl/Sl(d) or wild-type (WT) mice undergoing MI. Control LV/enGFP injection led to measurable reporter gene expression in hearts. Injection of LV/KL-2 attenuated adverse left ventricular remodeling and dramatically improved survival post-MI in both Sl/Sl(d) and WT mice (from 12 to 71% and 35 to 73%, respectively, versus controls). With regard toward beginning to understand the possible salutary mechanisms involved in this effect, differential staining patterns of Sca-1 and Ly49 on peripheral blood (PB) cells from therapeutically treated animals was found. Our data show that LV/KL-2 gene therapy is a promising treatment for MI.