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Circulation. 2003 Aug 19;108(7):863-8. Epub 2003 Aug 4.

Systemic delivery of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells to the infarcted myocardium: feasibility, cell migration, and body distribution.

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Neufeld Cardiac Research Institute, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer 52621, Israel.



Systemic delivery of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) is an attractive approach for myocardial repair. We aimed to test this strategy in a rat model after myocardial infarction (MI).


BM-MSCs were obtained from rat bone marrow, expanded in vitro to a purity of >50%, and labeled with 99mTc exametazime, fluorescent dye, LacZ marker gene, or bromodeoxyuridine. Rats were subjected to MI by transient coronary artery occlusion or to sham MI. 99mTc-labeled cells (4x10(6)) were transfused into the left ventricular cavity of MI rats either at 2 or 10 to 14 days after MI and were compared with sham-MI rats or MI rats treated with intravenous infusion. Gamma camera imaging and isolated organ counting 4 hours after intravenous infusion revealed uptake of the 99mTc-labeled cells mainly in the lungs, with significantly smaller amounts in the liver, heart, and spleen. Delivery by left ventricular cavity infusion resulted in drastically lower lung uptake, better uptake in the heart, and specifically higher uptake in infarcted compared with sham-MI hearts. Histological examination at 1 week after infusion identified labeled cells either in the infarcted or border zone but not in remote viable myocardium or sham-MI hearts. Labeled cells were also identified in the lung, liver, spleen, and bone marrow.


Systemic intravenous delivery of BM-MSCs to rats after MI, although feasible, is limited by entrapment of the donor cells in the lungs. Direct left ventricular cavity infusion enhances migration and colonization of the cells preferentially to the ischemic myocardium.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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