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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2005 Nov;24(11):1930-9.

Stem-like cells traffic from heart ex vivo, expand in vitro, and can be transplanted in vivo.

Author information

  • 1Department Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, All Children's Hospital, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701, USA. steelea@allkids.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cells with stem cell surface markers have been identified in heart tissue. Early indications suggest that these are cardiac progenitor cells that could contribute to cardiac repair/regeneration. Clinically relevant therapeutic strategies based on these cells will require improved methods for their isolation and characterization of determinants of their mobilization, proliferation and differentiation.

METHODS:

An ex vivo culture system was developed that promotes trafficking of progenitor-like cells from mouse ventricles to a culture surface. Cells that "trafficked" from cardiac tissue were phenotyped by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS:

Morphologically distinct cells spontaneously trafficked from mouse ventricular tissue, adhered in culture, and proliferated for up to 4 weeks in Dulbecco's minimal essential media supplemented with fetal calf serum. After 4 weeks in culture, cell number declined. Co-culture with unfractionated bone marrow restored the proliferation of these trafficked cells. A significant population of the trafficked cells expressed a phenotype consistent with that of a myogenic progenitor such as: c-kit+, Sca-1+, CD45-, CD34-, CD90.2-, MyoD1-, desmin-, muscle-specific actin-, and, infrequently, myogenin+. An expanded population of trafficked cells from ventricles of mice expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP+) and containing cardiac-derived progenitor cells were injected into the pericardial space of GFP- mice. GFP+ cells trafficked throughout the heart but retained a primitive undifferentiated morphology. However, when injected into the pericardial space of Apo-E-deficient mice with coronary vasculopathy, progenitor-like cells trafficked into myocardium, and GFP+ cells differentiated into vessel-lining endothelial cells and, rarely, smooth muscle and cardiomyocytes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Progenitor-like cells in the heart can be mobilized by tissue injury to spontaneously traffic from cardiac tissue and can expand in culture by co-culture with bone marrow. When re-infused by pericardiocentesis, these primitive cells traffic into heart, retain immature morphology, but are capable of undergoing injury-induced differentiation. The novel method described herein permits further characterization of cardiac-derived progenitor cells, which are a candidate for cardiac regeneration strategies.

PMID:
16297801
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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