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Circulation. 2005 May 17;111(19):2438-45. Epub 2005 May 9.

Regeneration of infarcted myocardium by intramyocardial implantation of ex vivo transforming growth factor-beta-preprogrammed bone marrow stem cells.

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  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Department of Medical Bioregulation, Yamaguchi University School of Medicine, Ube, Yamaguchi, Japan.



Recent studies have shown that bone marrow-derived stem cells differentiate into the phenotype of cardiomyocytes in vivo and in vitro. We tried to regenerate infarcted myocardium by implanting ex vivo transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta-preprogrammed CD117 (c-kit)-positive (CD117+) stem cells intramyocardially.


CD117+ cells were isolated from the bone marrow mononuclear cells of GFP-transgenic or normal C57/BL6 mice. The myogenic differentiation of CD117+ cells was achieved by cultivation with TGF-beta. Using an acute myocardial infarction model, we also tried to regenerate infarcted myocardium by implanting untreated (newly isolated) or preprogrammed (24 hours of cultivation with 5 ng/mL TGF-beta1) CD117+ cells intramyocardially. TGF-beta increased the cellular expression of myosin, troponins, connexin-43, GATA-4, and NKx-2.5, which suggested that it induced the myogenic differentiation of CD117+ cells. Compared with the effects of PBS injection only, the microvessel density in the infarcted myocardium was increased significantly 3 months after the implantation of either TGF-beta-preprogrammed or untreated CD117+ cells. Moreover, many of the TGF-beta-preprogrammed CD117+ cells were stained positively for myosin, whereas few of the untreated CD117+ cells were. Histological analysis revealed newly regenerated myocardium in the left ventricular anterior wall after the implantation of TGF-beta-preprogrammed cells but not untreated cells. Furthermore, the left ventricular percent fraction shortening was significantly higher after the implantation of TGF-beta-preprogrammed cells than after the implantation of untreated CD117+ cells.


TGF-beta conducted the myogenic differentiation of CD117+ stem cells by upregulating GATA-4 and NKx-2.5 expression. Therefore, the intramyocardial implantation of TGF-beta-preprogrammed CD117+ cells effectively assisted the myocardial regeneration and induced therapeutic angiogenesis, contributing to functional cardiac regeneration.

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