Gene injection into canine myocardium as a useful model for studying gene expression in the heart of large mammals.
We have investigated the regulated expression of genes injected into the heart of large mammals in situ. Reporter constructs using the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene under the control of muscle-specific beta-myosin heavy chain (beta-MHC) or promiscuous (mouse sarcoma virus) promoters were injected into the canine myocardium. There was a linear dose-response relation between the level of gene expression and the quantity of plasmid DNA injected between 10 and 200 micrograms per injection site. The level of reporter gene expression did not correlate with the amount of injury imposed on the cardiac tissue. There was no regional variation in expression of injected reporter genes throughout the left ventricular wall. By use of both the mouse sarcoma virus and a muscle-specific beta-MHC promoter, reporter gene expression was one to two orders of magnitude greater in the heart than in skeletal muscle. Expression in the left ventricle was threefold higher than in the right ventricle. Chloramphenicol acetyltransferase activity was detected at 3, 7, 14, and 21 days after injection, with maximal expression at 7 days after injection. Statistical analysis of coinjection experiments revealed that coinjection of a second gene construct (Rous sarcoma virus-luciferase) is useful in the control of transfection efficiency in vivo. Furthermore, using reporter constructs containing serial deletions of the 5' flanking region of the beta-MHC gene, we performed a series of experiments that demonstrate the utility of this model in mapping promoter regions and identifying important regulatory gene sequences in vivo.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association