Basic fibroblast growth factor stimulates angiogenesis in the hindlimb of hyperglycemic rats

J Surg Res. 1998 Sep;79(1):8-12. doi: 10.1006/jsre.1998.5392.


Angiogenic growth factors including basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) have therapeutic value for chronic ischemia in nondiabetic animals. However, angiogenic therapy for chronic ischemia in a background of diabetes remains unexplored. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of exogenous bFGF on angiogenesis in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats with ischemic and nonischemic limbs. We produced ischemia of the left lower limb by excising the superficial femoral artery. At 2 weeks, the rats received an intramuscular injection of vehicle (group A), 0.3 microg bFGF/day (group B), or 1 microg bFGF/day (group C), daily for 2 weeks. At 4 weeks, we assessed limb angiogenesis by skeletal muscle capillary density (cap/mm2) and capillary per muscle fiber ratio (cap/F) counts. Group C had significantly higher mean levels compared to group A for calf capillary density (P < 0.0024) and capillary per muscle fiber ratio in both thigh (P < 0.0015) and calf (P < 0.0001). There was a trend toward increased mean capillary per muscle fiber ratio with increasing dose. This trend was significant in the calf (P < 0.0015) and just missed statistical significance in the thigh. There was a similar trend in calf capillary density. We conclude that exogenous bFGF enhances angiogenesis and, possibly, collateral circulation in ischemic limbs of diabetic rats.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / therapy
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / pharmacology*
  • Hindlimb / blood supply*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / blood supply
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Streptozocin


  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Streptozocin