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Heart. 2006 Jun;92(6):768-74. Epub 2005 Oct 26.

Changes in circulating mesenchymal stem cells, stem cell homing factor, and vascular growth factors in patients with acute ST elevation myocardial infarction treated with primary percutaneous coronary intervention.

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  • 1Medical Department B, The Heart Centre, University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.



To investigate the spontaneous occurrence of circulating mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and angiogenic factors in patients with ST elevation acute myocardial infarction (STEMI) treated with primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).


In 20 patients with STEMI, blood samples were obtained on days 1, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28 after the acute PCI. Fifteen patients with a normal coronary angiography formed a control group. MSC (CD45-/CD34-), plasma stromal derived factor 1 (SDF-1), vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A), and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) were measured by multiparametric flow cytometry and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).


Circulating CD45-/CD34- cells were significantly decreased on day 7 compared with day 3. Cell counts normalised one month after the acute onset of STEMI. The changes were mainly seen in patients with a large infarction. Plasma SDF-1 increased significantly from day 3 to day 28, and VEGF-A and FGF-2 increased significantly from day 7 to day 28.


Spontaneous sequential fluctuations in MSC and the increase in vascular growth factor concentrations after STEMI suggest that the optimal time for additional stem cell therapy is three weeks after a myocardial infarction to obtain the maximum effects by stimulating endogenous growth factors on the delivered stem cells.

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