Background: Recent studies suggest that gene therapy using replication-deficient adenoviruses will benefit treatment of cardiovascular diseases including heart failure. A persistent hurdle is the effective and reproducible delivery of a transgene to the myocardium with minimal iatrogenic morbidity. In this study, we sought to design a relatively non-invasive percutaneous gene delivery system that would maximize cardiac transgene expression and minimize mortality after intracoronary adenovirus injection. Methods: Adult rabbits received a left circumflex coronary artery (LCx) infusion of 5 × 1011 total viral particles of an adenovirus containing the marker transgene β-galactosidase (Adeno-βGal) via either a continuous infusion method utilizing an oxygenated, normothermic, physiologic pH Krebs solution driven by a Langendorff apparatus (n = 12) or a timed bolus and set concentration at a constant infusion rate to the LCx (n = 12). Six rabbits underwent global transgene delivery via an invasive method involving intraventricular delivery and aortic root cross-clamping. The efficacy of transgene expression via these three distinct delivery methods was determined in the left ventricle at 5 days by histological staining and colorimetric quantification assay. Results: While the open-chest, aortic cross-clamping method provides the highest level of gene expression throughout the heart, the morbidity of this procedure is clinically prohibitive. Percutaneous LCx delivery of Adeno-βGal using the Langendorff apparatus was associated with the lowest morbidity and mortality while still supporting significant myocardial gene expression. Conclusions: Percutaneous delivery of an adenovirus solution using a continuous infusion of oxygenated Krebs solution via a Langendorff apparatus appears to be a gene delivery modality offering the best compromise of gene expression and clinical utility to maximize any potential therapeutic outcome.
- Adenoviral gene therapy