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Fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21) has been discovered as a strong hormone, plays an important role in lipid metabolism, glucose metabolism, associated with several diseases such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular events. And it has been recently reported to attenuate cardiac function following myocardial infarction (MI). This study was designed to investigate whether this effect could be strengthened by local intramyocardial injection of FGF-21 along with a novel Dex-PCL-HEMA/PNIPAAm hydrogel and ascertain its possible mechanism of action.
MI models were induced in rats by coronary artery ligation. Phosphate-buffered saline (PBS group), Dex-PCL-HEMA/PNIPAAm hydrogel (Gel group), phosphatebuffered saline containing FGF-21 (FGF-21 group), and hydrogel containing FGF-21 (Gel+FGF-21 group) were injected into the peri-infarcted myocardium immediately after myocardial infarction, respectively. The sham group was thoracic but without coronary artery ligation.
The injection of FGF-21 along with hydrogel reduced MI area, inhibited inflammatory response and cell apoptosis, restrained collagen accumulation and improved cardiac function. Additionally, activation of PI3K-Akt1 signaling pathway was remarkably increased compared with the injection of either agent alone post MI in rats.
These findings indicate that FGF-21 injection along with Dex-PCL-HEMA/PNIPAAm hydrogel acquires more cardioprotective effects than either alone in rat post MI via activation of PI3K-Akt1 signaling pathway.