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Tissue suction-mediated gene transfer to the beating heart in mice

  • Taniguchi, Yota
  • Oyama, Natsuko
  • Fumoto, Shintaro
  • Kinoshita, Hideyuki
  • Yamashita, Fumiyoshi
  • Shimizu, Kazunori
  • Hashida, Mitsuru
  • Kawakami, Shigeru
Publication Date
Feb 06, 2020


We previously developed an in vivo site-specific transfection method using a suction device in mice; namely, a tissue suction-mediated transfection method (tissue suction method). The aim of this study was to apply the tissue suction method for cardiac gene transfer. Naked plasmid DNA (pDNA) was intravenously injected in mice, followed by direct suction on the beating heart by using a suction device made of polydimethylsiloxane. We first examined the effects of suction conditions on transgene expression and toxicity. Subsequently, we analyzed transgene-expressing cells and the transfected region of the heart. We found that heart suction induced transgene expression, and that −75 kPa and −90 kPa of suction achieved high transgene expression. In addition, the inner diameter of the suction device was correlated with transgene expression, but the pressure hold time did not change transgene expression. Although the tissue suction method at −75 kPa induced a transient increase in the serum cardiac toxicity markers at 6 h after transfection, these markers returned to normal at 24 h. The cardiac damage was also analyzed through the measurement of hypertrophic gene expression, but no significant differences were found. In addition, the cardiac function monitored by echocardiography remained normal at 11 days after transfection. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that CD31-positive endothelial cells co-expressed the ZsGreen1-N1 reporter gene. In conclusion, the tissue suction method can achieve an efficient and safe gene transfer to the beating heart in mice.

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