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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2008 Oct;295(4):H1726-35. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00236.2008. Epub 2008 Aug 22.

Embryonic stem cells attenuate myocardial dysfunction and inflammation after surgical global ischemia via paracrine actions.

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Departments of Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.


Stem cell treatment may positively influence recovery and inflammation after shock by multiple mechanisms, including the paracrine release of protective growth factors. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are understudied and may have greater protective power than adult bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs). We hypothesized that ESC paracrine protective mechanisms in the heart (decreased injury by enhanced growth factor-mediated reduction of proinflammatory cytokines) would be superior to the paracrine protective mechanisms of the adult stem cell population in a model of surgically induced global ischemia. Adult Sprague-Dawley rat hearts were isolated and perfused via Langendorff model. Hearts were subjected to 25 min of warm global ischemia and 40 min of reperfusion and were randomly assigned into one of four groups: 1) vehicle treated; 2) BMSC or ESC preischemic treatment; 3) BMSC or ESC postischemic treatment; and 4) BMSC- or ESC-conditioned media treatment. Myocardial function was recorded, and hearts were analyzed for expression of tissue cytokines and growth factors (ELISA). Additionally, ESCs and BMSCs in culture were assessed for growth factor production (ELISA). ESC-treated hearts demonstrated significantly greater postischemic recovery of function (left ventricular developed pressure, end-diastolic pressure, and maximal positive and negative values of the first derivative of pressure) than BMSC-treated hearts or controls at end reperfusion. ESC-conditioned media (without cells) also conferred cardioprotection at end reperfusion. ESC-infused hearts demonstrated increased VEGF and IL-10 production compared with BMSC hearts. ESC hearts also exhibited decreased proinflammatory cytokine expression compared with MSC hearts. Moreover, ESCs in cell culture demonstrated greater pluripotency than MSCs. ESC paracrine protective mechanisms in surgical ischemia are superior to those of adult stem cells.

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