Recombinant human hepatocyte growth factor transfection alleviates hyperkinetic pulmonary artery hypertension in rabbit models

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The study objective was to investigate the effect of recombinant human hepatocyte growth factor gene transfection via an endotracheal approach on hyperkinetic pulmonary artery hypertension rabbit models.


The rabbits with established pulmonary artery hypertension were separated into a gene transfection group (rabbits treated with intratracheal instillation of human hepatocyte growth factor 2 × 109 plaque-forming units coded by replication-defective recombinant adenovirus), an empty vector group, and a control group. Two weeks after endotracheal gene transfection, immunohistochemistry examination and Western blot were used to detect the protein expression of human hepatocyte growth factor. The hemodynamic data were measured, and pulmonary angiography was performed to investigate the pulmonary collateral vessels. The vascular density in lung also was analyzed.


Two weeks after gene transfection, human hepatocyte growth factor was expressed in the gene transfection group. The mean pulmonary artery pressure in the gene transfection group was lower than in the control and empty vector groups (P < .05 for both). The arteriolar density in the lung tissues of the gene transfection group was higher than in the other groups (P < .05), which was confirmed by immunohistochemistry, double-labeling immunofluorescence, and pulmonary angiography.


Human hepatocyte growth factor was expressed in rabbit lung after gene transfection via an airway approach. Recombinant human hepatocyte growth factor transfection ameliorates the pulmonary artery hypertension induced by shunt flow by promoting angiogenesis in lung tissues.

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