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Mol Ther. 2010 Oct;18(10):1865-73. doi: 10.1038/mt.2010.160. Epub 2010 Jul 27.

Cellular antioxidant levels influence muscle stem cell therapy.

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Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


Although cellular transplantation has been shown to promote improvements in cardiac function following injury, poor cell survival following transplantation continues to limit the efficacy of this therapy. We have previously observed that transplantation of muscle-derived stem cells (MDSCs) improves cardiac function in an acute murine model of myocardial infarction to a greater extent than myoblasts. This improved regenerative capacity of MDSCs is linked to their increased level of antioxidants such as glutathione (GSH) and superoxide dismutase. In the current study, we demonstrated the pivotal role of antioxidant levels on MDSCs survival and cardiac functional recovery by either reducing the antioxidant levels with diethyl maleate or increasing antioxidant levels with N-acetylcysteine (NAC). Both the anti- and pro-oxidant treatments dramatically influenced the survival of the MDSCs in vitro. When NAC-treated MDSCs were transplanted into infarcted myocardium, we observed significantly improved cardiac function, decreased scar tissue formation, and increased numbers of CD31(+) endothelial cell structures, compared to the injection of untreated and diethyl maleate-treated cells. These results indicate that elevating the levels of antioxidants in MDSCs with NAC can significantly influence their tissue regeneration capacity.

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