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OBJECTIVE: Electroporation mediated transfer of plasmid DNA into peripheral muscle results in high transfection efficiency. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of gene transfer of human IL-10 (hIL-10) into the tibialis anterior muscle (MTA) in combination with low dose Cyclosporine A (CsA) on acute rejection of lung allografts in the rat. METHODS: Lung allotransplantation was performed from male BN donor to male Fisher F344 rats. Gene transfer was achieved by intramuscular injection into the MTA of the recipient followed by electroporation (4 x 20 ms impulses at 200 V/cm) 24 h prior to the transplantation. Group A (n=5) received CsA (2.5 mg/kg bw ip) for 5 days post-transplant and group B (n=5) 2.5 microg of PCIK hIL-10 (plasmid expression vector containing human CMV immediate early gene promoter and enhancer) and a low dose CsA (2.5 mg/kg bw i.p.). Graft function was assessed by blood gas at day 5 after exclusion of the native lung. Animals were sacrificed and blood was drawn to measure serum hIL-10 levels (ELISA) and tissue was sampled for histological grading of rejection. RESULTS: Local expression of hIL-10 was confirmed at the mRNA level by in situ hybridization. All group A control animals showed severe signs of rejection. At day 5 all grafts in group B showed good gas exchange mean PaO2 233+/-123 mmHg, vs 44+/-8 mmHg in group A. Histological examination revealed moderate to severe rejection in all animals in group A (IIIB, ISHLT) in contrast to low moderate rejection in group B (II-IIIA). hIL-10 serum levels on day 5 were 14+/-7 pg/ml in group B vs. 0 in group A. CONCLUSIONS: Electroporation mediated hIL-10 overexpression in a peripheral muscle of the recipient in combination with low dose CsA reduces acute rejection in this model of rat lung allotransplantation.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Cardiothorac Surg

Publication Date





1030 - 1035


Acute Disease, Animals, Cyclosporine, Drug Administration Schedule, Drug Synergism, Electroporation, Gene Expression, Gene Transfer Techniques, Graft Rejection, Immunosuppressive Agents, Injections, Intramuscular, Interleukin-10, Lung Transplantation, Male, Rats, Rats, Inbred BN, Rats, Inbred F344, Transplantation, Homologous