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Sci Transl Med. 2011 Sep 14;3(100):100ra90. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3002814.

Donor myocardial infarction impairs the therapeutic potential of bone marrow cells by an interleukin-1-mediated inflammatory response.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


Delivery of bone marrow cells (BMCs) to the heart has substantially improved cardiac function in most rodent models of myocardial infarction (MI), but clinical trials of BMC therapy have led to only modest improvements. Rodent models typically involve intramyocardial injection of BMCs from distinct donor individuals who are healthy. In contrast, autologous BMCs from individuals after MI are used for clinical trials. Using BMCs from donor mice after MI, we discovered that recent MI impaired BMC therapeutic efficacy. MI led to myocardial inflammation and an increased inflammatory state in the bone marrow, changing the BMC composition and reducing their efficacy. Injection of a general anti-inflammatory drug or a specific interleukin-1 inhibitor to donor mice after MI prevented this impairment. Our findings offer an explanation of why human trials have not matched the success of rodent experiments and suggest potential strategies to improve the success of clinical autologous BMC therapy.

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