Ischemic heart disease is rapidly growing as the common cause of death in the world. It is a disease that occurs as a result of coronary artery stenosis and is caused by the lack of oxygen within cardiac muscles due to an imbalance between oxygen supply and demand. The conventional medical therapy is focused on the use of drug eluting stents, coronary-artery bypass graft surgery and anti-thrombosis. Gene therapy provides great opportunities for treatment of cardiovascular disease. In order for gene therapy to be successful, the development of proper gene delivery systems and hypoxia-regulated gene expression vectors is the most important factors. Several non-viral gene transfer methods have been developed to overcome the safety problems of viral transduction. Some of which include plasmids that regulate gene expression that is controlled by environment specific promoters in the transcriptional or the translational level. This review explores polymeric gene carriers that target the myocardium and hypoxia-inducible vectors, which regulate gene expression in response to hypoxia, and their application in animal myocardial infarction models.
Keywords: Gene delivery; Myocardial infarct; Non-viral carrier.
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