Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Jan;129(1):21-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2010.09.012. Epub 2010 Oct 31.

Very small embryonic-like stem cells in cardiovascular repair.

Author information

Third Division of Cardiology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland.


Adult bone marrow (BM) harbors several small populations of cells which may contribute to cardiac and endothelial repair, such as endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) and very small embryonic-like cells (VSELs) expressing several markers of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), such as Oct-4, Nanog and SSEA-1. Such cells were identified in mice bone marrow, peripheral blood and solid organs as well as in umbilical cord blood (UCB) and peripheral blood (PB) in humans. The adult BM-derived VSELs may undergo differentiation into cells derived for all three germ layers, including cardiomyocytes and vascular endothelial cells. VSELs can be isolated using a multiparameter live cell sorting technique with special gating strategy based on their small size, expression of stem cell markers (Sca-1 in mice, CXCR4 and CD133 in humans) and absence of hematopoietic lineage markers (CD45(-) Lin(-)). Experiments in murine models of myocardial infarction (MI) demonstrated population of VSELs expressed also early markers of cardiac and endothelial lineages (GATA-4, Nkx2.5/Csx, VE-cadherin, von Willebrand factor) which migrated to stromal-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) and other chemoattractant gradient and underwent rapid mobilization into peripheral blood in experimental MI mice models. Recently, we demonstrated the mobilization of VSELs expressing PSC, early cardiac and endothelial markers in patients with acute MI. In addition to BM, VSELs were also identified in several murine solid organs including the heart and brain, as well as in umbilical cord blood and peripheral blood in adult humans. We hypothesized that VSELs are quiescent progeny of epiblast-derived PSCs that are deposited during organogenesis in developing organs. In experimental MI intramyocardial injection of VSELs was more efficient than that of HSCs at improving left ventricular ejection fraction and attenuation of myocardial hypertrophy. VSELs can be useful in translational studies of cardiovascular repair.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center