Author(s): Antanaviit I, Ereminien E, Vysockas V, Rakauskas M, Skipskis V,
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Abstract Acute myocardial infarction is one of the major causes of mortality worldwide. For regeneration of the rabbit heart after experimentally induced infarction we used autologous skeletal myoblasts (SMs) due to their high proliferative potential, resistance to ischaemia and absence of immunological and ethical concerns. The cells were characterized with muscle-specific and myogenic markers. Cell transplantation was performed by injection of cell suspension (0.5 ml) containing approximately 6 million myoblasts into the infarction zone. The animals were divided into four groups: (i) no injection; (ii) sham injected; (iii) injected with wild-type SMs; and (iv) injected with SMs expressing connexin43 fused with green fluorescent protein (Cx43EGFP). Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was evaluated by 2D echocardiography in vivo before infarction, when myocardium has stabilized after infarction, and 3 months after infarction. Electrical activity in the healthy and infarction zones of the heart was examined ex vivo in Langendorff-perfused hearts by optical mapping using di-4-ANEPPS, a potential sensitive fluorescent dye. We demonstrate that SMs in the coculture can couple electrically not only to abutted but also to remote acutely isolated allogenic cardiac myocytes through membranous tunnelling tubes. The beneficial effect of cellular therapy on LVEF and electrical activity was observed in the group of animals injected with Cx43EGFP-expressing SMs. L-type Ca(2+) current amplitude was approximately fivefold smaller in the isolated SMs compared to healthy myocytes suggesting that limited recovery of LVEF may be related to inadequate expression or function of L-type Ca(2+) channels in transplanted differentiating SMs. © 2014 The Authors. International Journal of Experimental Pathology © 2014 International Journal of Experimental Pathology.
This article was published in Int J Exp Pathol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology