Author(s): Jaquet K, Krause KT, Denschel J, Faessler P, Nauerz M,
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Abstract The use of a cellular therapy offers a promising approach for the treatment of heart disease. Besides other precursor cells, bone marrow (BM)-derived stem cells were discovered that migrate into ischemic myocardium and participate in myogenesis as well as angiogenesis. A subpopulation of those are the mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), which may be potential candidates for repairing ischemic heart tissue. MSC are easy to prepare and can be used in an autologous strategy. Here we demonstrate the effect of transplanted MSC in our autologous rat model of myocardial injury. BM was isolated from tibiae and femurs of Wistar rats. After 24 h, the adhering MSC were separated, expanded, retrovirally transduced using green fluorescent protein (GFP), and cloned. A cryo-infarct was generated in the rat hearts, and immediately after this the cells were injected into the border zone of the lesion. After a 10-week follow up, the hearts were excised and the myocardial scar areas were measured using computer-guided morphometry. When comparing transplanted rats (n = 8) with control animals (n = 5) treated rats demonstrated a significant reduction in the width (p < 0.05) of the myocardial scar area. The depth of the scars of the cell therapy rats was less extended (p > 0.05) and the myocardium of these animals was thicker than in the controls (p > 0.05). Immunohistochemical analyses revealed neither evidence of MSC transdifferentiation into cardiomyocytes, nor could an increased neovascularization be found. In conclusion, MSC are responsible for a remarkable reduction of the myocardial scar size in the treated animals. But, whether this strategy is directly transferable to the patient suffering from heart disease has to be determined. In addition, the mechanism by which MSC act in the ischemic heart remains to be determined.
This article was published in Stem Cells Dev
and referenced in Journal of Transplantation Technologies & Research