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Stem Cells Int. 2012;2012:452102. doi: 10.1155/2012/452102. Epub 2012 Aug 14.

Heart cells with regenerative potential from pediatric patients with end stage heart failure: a translatable method to enrich and propagate.

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  • 1The Congenital Heart Institute of Florida (CHIF), Saint Petersburg and Tampa, FL, USA.


Background. Human cardiac-derived progenitor cells (hCPCs) have shown promise in treating heart failure (HF) in adults. The purpose of this study was to describe derivation of hCPCs from pediatric patients with end-stage HF. Methods. At surgery, discarded right atrial tissues (hAA) were obtained from HF patients (n = 25; hAA-CHF). Minced tissues were suspended in complete (serum-containing) DMEM. Cells were selected for their tissue migration and expression of stem cell factor receptor (hc-kit). Characterization of hc-kit(positive) cells included immunohistochemical screening with a panel of monoclonal antibodies. Results. Cells, including phase-bright cells identified as hc-kit(positive), spontaneously emigrated from hAA-CHF in suspended explant cultures (SEC) after Day 7. When cocultured with tissue, emigrated hc-kit(positive) cells proliferated, first as loosely attached clones and later as multicellular clusters. At Day 21~5% of cells were hc-kit(positive). Between Days 14 and 28 hc-kit(positive) cells exhibited mesodermal commitment (GATA-4(positive) and NKX2.5(positive)); then after Day 28 cardiac lineages (flk-1(positive), smooth muscle actin(positive), troponin-I(positive), and myosin light chain(positive)). Conclusions. C-kit(positive) hCPCs can be derived from atrial tissue of pediatric patients with end-stage HF. SEC is a novel culture method for derivation of migratory hc-kit(positive) cells that favors clinical translation by reducing the need for exogenously added factors to expand hCPCs in vitro.

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