Cardiac angiogenesis and gene therapy: A strategy for myocardial revascularization
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Angiogenesis, the de novo formation of new vasculature, is a critical response to ischemia that provides neovascularization of ischemic tissues. In therapeutic angiogenesis, an angiogen--a mediator that induces angiogenesis--is delivered to targeted tissues, augmenting the native angiogenic process and enhancing reperfusion of ischemic tissues. Gene transfer is a novel means of providing therapeutic angiogenesis: the cDNA coding for specific angiogens, rather than the proteins themselves, is administered to the tissues in which angiogenesis is desired. This review is focused on therapeutic angiogenesis based on gene transfer strategies for the provision of myocardial revascularization.