Adenovirus-mediated transforming growth factor-beta ameliorates ischemic necrosis of epigastric skin flaps in a rat model

Huemer, Georg M; Shafighi, Maziar; Meirer, Romed; Debagge, Paul; Piza-Katzer, Hildegunde; Gurunluoglu, Raffi (2004). Adenovirus-mediated transforming growth factor-beta ameliorates ischemic necrosis of epigastric skin flaps in a rat model. Journal of surgical research, 121(1), pp. 101-7. New York, N.Y.: Elsevier 10.1016/j.jss.2004.02.012

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BACKGROUND: Gene therapy has been recently introduced as a novel approach to treat ischemic tissues by using the angiogenic potential of certain growth factors. We investigated the effect of adenovirus-mediated gene therapy with transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) delivered into the subdermal space to treat ischemically challenged epigastric skin flaps in a rat model. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A pilot study was conducted in a group of 5 animals pretreated with Ad-GFP and expression of green fluorescent protein in the skin flap sections was demonstrated under fluorescence microscopy at 2, 4, and 7 days after the treatment, indicating a successful transfection of the skin flaps following subdermal gene therapy. Next, 30 male Sprague Dawley rats were divided into 3 groups of 10 rats each. An epigastric skin flap model, based solely on the right inferior epigastric vessels, was used as the model in this study. Rats received subdermal injections of adenovirus encoding TGF-beta (Ad-TGF-beta) or green fluorescent protein (Ad-GFP) as treatment control. The third group (n = 10) received saline and served as a control group. A flap measuring 8 x 8 cm was outlined on the abdominal skin extending from the xiphoid process proximally and the pubic region distally, to the anterior axillary lines bilaterally. Just prior to flap elevation, the injections were given subdermally in the left upper corner of the flap. The flap was then sutured back to its bed. Flap viability was evaluated seven days after the initial operation. Digital images of the epigastric flaps were taken and areas of necrotic zones relative to total flap surface area were measured and expressed as percentages by using a software program. RESULTS: There was a significant increase in mean percent surviving area between the Ad-TGF-beta group and the two other control groups (P < 0.05). (Ad-TGF-beta: 90.3 +/- 4.0% versus Ad-GFP: 82.2 +/- 8.7% and saline group: 82.6 +/- 4.3%.) CONCLUSIONS: In this study, the authors were able to demonstrate that adenovirus-mediated gene therapy using TGF-beta ameliorated ischemic necrosis in an epigastric skin flap model, as confirmed by significant reduction in the necrotic zones of the flap. The results of this study raise the possibility of using adenovirus-mediated TGF-beta gene therapy to promote perfusion in random portion of skin flaps, especially in high-risk patients.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Plastic and Hand Surgery > Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Shafighi, Maziar










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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:04

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:19

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URI: (FactScience: 115648)

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