Circulation Journal
Online ISSN : 1347-4820
Print ISSN : 1346-9843
ISSN-L : 1346-9843
Special Article
Recent Progress in Gene Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease
Ryuichi Morishita
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2002 Volume 66 Issue 12 Pages 1077-1086


Gene therapy is emerging as a potential strategy for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, such as peripheral arterial disease, ischemic heart disease, restenosis after angioplasty, vascular bypass graft occlusion and transplant coronary vasculopathy, for which no known effective therapy exists. The first human trial in cardiovascular disease started in 1994 treating peripheral vascular disease with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and since then, many different potent angiogenic growth factors have been tested in clinical trials for the treatment of peripheral arterial disease. In addition, therapeutic angiogenesis using the VEGF gene has been used to treat ischemic heart disease since 1997. The results from these clinical trials have exceeded expectations; improvement in the clinical symptoms of peripheral arterial disease and ischemic heart disease has been reported. Another strategy for combating the disease processes, targeting the transcriptional process, has been tested in a human trial. IN particular, transfection of cis-element double-stranded (ds) oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) (= decoy) is a powerful tool in a new class of anti-gene strategies. Transfection of ds-ODN corresponding to the cis sequence will attenuate the authentic cis-trans interaction, leading to removal of trans-factors from the endogenous cis-elements and subsequent modulation of gene expression. Genetically modified vein grafts transfected with a decoy against E2F, an essential transcription factor in cell cycle progression, appear to have long-term potency in human patients. There is great potential in gene therapy for cardiovascular disease. (Circ J 2002; 66: 1077 - 1086)

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