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Circulation. 2004 Aug 24;110(8):962-8. Epub 2004 Aug 9.

Endothelial cells promote cardiac myocyte survival and spatial reorganization: implications for cardiac regeneration.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Endothelial-cardiac myocyte (CM) interactions play a key role in regulating cardiac function, but the role of these interactions in CM survival is unknown. This study tested the hypothesis that endothelial cells (ECs) promote CM survival and enhance spatial organization in a 3-dimensional configuration.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Microvascular ECs and neonatal CMs were seeded on peptide hydrogels in 1 of 3 experimental configurations: CMs alone, CMs mixed with ECs (coculture), or CMs seeded on preformed EC networks (prevascularized). Capillary-like networks formed by ECs promoted marked CM reorganization along the EC structures, in contrast to limited organization of CMs cultured alone. The presence of ECs markedly inhibited CM apoptosis and necrosis at all time points. In addition, CMs on preformed EC networks resulted in significantly less CM apoptosis and necrosis compared with simultaneous EC-CM seeding (P<0.01, ANOVA). Furthermore, ECs promoted synchronized contraction of CMs as well as connexin 43 expression.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results provide direct evidence for a novel role of endothelium in survival and organization of nearby CMs. Successful strategies for cardiac regeneration may therefore depend on establishing functional CM-endothelium interactions.

PMID:
15302801
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2754572
Free PMC Article
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