We investigated the effects of a biodegradable gelatin hydrogel sponge sheet (GHSS) or GHSS incorporating basic fibroblast growth factor (GHSS + bFGF), which could prolong the effects of bFGF, on the progression of experimental abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). Experimental AAAs were induced in male Sprague-Dawley rats by intra-aortic elastase infusion. The rats were divided according to the following treatments: (1) untreated, (2) GHSS alone, (3) GHSS incorporating 100 ng, 1 μg, and 10 μg of bFGF. GHSSs were placed over the elastase-infused aortas. After 14 days, the GHSS alone group and the three groups with GHSS + bFGF demonstrated significantly smaller aortic diameters than the untreated group, and these groups significantly attenuated a reduction of the elastic fibers and smooth muscle cells in the pathological findings. However, no additional therapeutic effect was noted between the GHSS alone and GHSS + bFGF groups. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed an increase of positive cells for endogenous bFGF in the media and adventitia of both the GHSS alone and GHSS + bFGF groups in comparison to the untreated group. In conclusion, GHSS itself possessed significant therapeutic effects on AAA progression by inducing the production of endogenous bFGF, leading to the preservation of elastic fibers and smooth muscle cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine