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Cardiovasc Pathol. 2007 May-Jun;16(3):127-35. Epub 2007 Feb 22.

A promising technique for transplantation of bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells into rat heart.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University Hospital of Groningen, The Netherlands.



To investigate the feasibility of intracoronary application of endothelial progenitor cells and the subsequent distribution within the heart.


Endothelial progenitors cells (EPCs) cultured from rat bone marrow were identified by double-positive staining with Dil-Ac-LDL and BS1-lectin. Twenty-four hours before cell transplantation, EPCs were labeled with 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU). Cells (5 x 10(5) in 250-microl medium) were injected into healthy rats, either as intracoronary application (n=11) or as intramyocardial injection (n = 6). At 15 min or 3 days posttransplantation, hearts as well as other organs (lung, liver, kidney, and spleen) were collected and processed for subsequent BrdU immunohistochemistry. The number of BrdU-positive cells per tissue area was counted.


Compared to intramyocardial injection, intracoronary administration resulted in more than twice as much positive cells in the heart (P < .05), with no local differences within the heart. Whereas after 15 min, EPCs were equally distributed in all examined organs (except for the spleen), cells that were still present after 3 days, approximately 10%, were selectively restricted to the heart.


Our data indicate that the intracoronary application provides a promising technique for EPC transplantation in the rat heart.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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