Preservation of myocardial function after adenoviral gene transfer in isolated myocardium

S. E. Lehnart, P. M L Janssen, W. M. Franz, J. K. Donahue, J. H. Lawrence, E. Marbán, J. Prestle, G. Hasenfuss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Adenoviral gene transfer to the heart represents a promising model for structure-function analyses. Rabbit hearts were subjected to an ex vivo perfusion protocol that achieves gene transfer in >90% of cardiac myocytes. Contractile function of isolated myocardial preparations of these hearts was then observed for 2 days in a recently developed trabecula culture system. In sham-infected hearts, the initial developed force (F(init)) (15.6 ± 3.7 mN/mm2; n = 12) did not change significantly after 48 h (17.0 ± 1.9 mN/mm2; P = 0.46). In adenovirus-infected preparations, F(init) (14.3 ± 1.8 mN/mm2; n = 21) did not significantly differ from the control (P = 0.75) and was unchanged after 48 h (15.3 ± 2.5 mN/mm2; P = 0.93). After 2 days of continuous contractions, we observed homogenous and high-level expression of the reporter genes LacZ coding for β-galactosidase and Luc coding for firefly luciferase. Luciferase activity increased more than 2,500-fold from background levels of 8.7 x 103 ± 5.0 x 103 relative light units (RLU)/mg protein (from hearts transfected with promotorless adenovirus with luciferase transgene construct AdNULLLuc, n = 5) to 23.4 x 106 ± 11.1 x 106 RLU/mg protein (from hearts tranfected with adenovirus with Rous sarcoma virus promotor and luciferase transgene construct AdRSVLuc, n = 5) in infected myocardial preparations (P <0.005). Our results demonstrate a new ex vivo approach to achieve homogenous and high-level expression of recombinant adenoviral genes in contracting myocardium without adverse functional effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number3 48-3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Adenovirus
  • Rabbit
  • Trabecula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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