Adrenomedullin exerts not only vasodilatory effects, but also angiogenic effects. In the present study, we investigated the effects of adrenomedullin on collateral formation and circulating bone-marrow-derived cells after acute tissue ischaemia. Bone marrow of 8–10-week-old female C57BL/6J mice was replaced with that from GFP (green fluorescent protein) transgenic mice (GFP mice). At 8 weeks after transplantation, hindlimb ischaemia was induced by resecting the right femoral artery and a plasmid expressing human adrenomedullin (50 μg) was injected into the ischaemic muscle, followed by in vivo electroporation on a weekly basis. Overexpression of adrenomedullin significantly enhanced the blood flow recovery compared with controls (blood flow ratio, 1.0±0.2 compared with 0.6±0.3 respectively, at week 4; P<0.05) and increased capillary density in the ischaemic leg as determined by anti-CD31 immunostaining of the ischaemic muscle (567±40 compared with 338±65 capillaries/mm2 respectively, at week 5; P<0.05). There were more GFP-positive cells in the thigh muscle of the mice injected with adrenomedullin than in that of the control mice (29.6±4.5 compared with 16.5±3.3 capillaries/mm2 respectively, at week 5; P<0.05). We repeated the same experiments using LacZ-knock-in mice instead of GFP mice, and obtained similar results. These findings suggest that adrenomedullin may augment ischaemia-induced collateral formation with some effects on circulating bone-marrow-derived cells.

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