Background: Although angiogenic therapy using recombinant growth factors holds much hope for the treatment of ischaemic diseases, there are still many unanswered questions, including its effectiveness on atrophic muscles.
Objective: To evaluate the angiogenic effects of intramuscularly administered basic fibroblast growth factor (b-FGF) on normal gastrocnemius muscles of rats and atrophic gastrocnemius muscles after tenotomy.
Methods: Forty rats were divided into groups as follows: group A, controls; group B, injected with 1 μg b-FGF; group C, tenotomy performed on the right gastrocnemius muscle; group D, tenotomy and 1 μg b-FGF. Mouse anti-rat CD31 antibody was used to evaluate the number of blood vessels present in histological preparations.
Results: There was a significant (p<0.01) decrease in the number of blood vessels compared with the controls in the atrophic muscles of group C. This was similar to the decrease in muscle weight in this group. However, there was a significant (p<0.01) increase in the number of blood vessels compared with the controls in groups B and D. Similarly, there was a significant (p<0.01) increase in the number of blood vessels in group D compared with the atrophic muscles in group C.
Conclusion: Intramuscular administration of b-FGF increases angiogenesis in both normal and atrophic rat gastrocnemius muscles at the injection area.
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Competing interests: none declared
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