Background: Angiogenic factors which control the angiogenic process represent a promising strategy for restoration of blood flow, but require further evaluation before clinical use. Exercise has also been reported to induce neovascularisation in muscles.
Objectives: To evaluate the angiogenic effects of basic fibroblast growth factor (b-FGF) and acidic fibroblast growth factor (a-FGF) on rat gastrocnemius muscle, when administered intramuscularly, and to compare them with those obtained by daily exercise.
Methods: Forty nine rats were allotted to the following groups: A, controls; B, exercise by swimming; C1 and C2, intramuscular injection of b-FGF and a-FGF respectively; D1 and D2, b-FGF and a-FGF injection in combination with exercise. The antibody mouse anti-rat CD31 was used to evaluate the numbers of blood vessels present in histological preparations of gastrocnemius muscle.
Results: Significant increases in the numbers of blood vessels of the right gastrocnemius muscles in groups C1 and D1 were observed compared with controls (p<0.05). There was only a slight increase in angiogenesis in the left gastrocnemius muscle of groups C1 and D1 compared with controls (p>0.05), and there was a decrease in angiogenesis in the gastrocnemius muscle of the swimming group compared with controls.
Conclusion: The intramuscular administration of b-FGF, but not a-FGF, induced significant local angiogenesis in gastrocnemius muscle at the site of injection.
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Competing interests: none declared
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