Background: Whether the combined treatment with sustained-release basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and heparin enhances neovascularization in hypercholesterolemic mouse hindlimb ischemia was investigated.
Methods and results: Wild-type C57BL/6 and low density lipoprotein receptor-deficient mice were assigned to 1 of the following 4 experimental groups and treated for 2 weeks after femoral artery extraction: group N, no treatment; group H, daily subcutaneous injection of heparin calcium; group F, single intramuscular injection of the sustained-release bFGF microspheres; and group FH, combined treatment with sustained-release bFGF and heparin. Among the wild-type mice at 4 weeks after femoral artery extraction, the laser Doppler perfusion image index (LDPII) in groups H, F, and FH was significantly higher than that in group N. The vascular density in group FH was the highest among the 4 groups. The maturation index in the 3 treated groups was significantly higher than that in group N. Among the hypercholesterolemic mice, the LDPII in group FH was significantly higher than that in the other 3 groups. The vascular density and maturation index in group FH were the highest among the 4 groups.
Conclusions: Combined treatment with sustained-release bFGF and heparin enhanced neovascularization in the hypercholesterolemic hindlimb ischemia model.