Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2013 Jul 9;8(7):e68528. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068528. Print 2013.

Bone marrow SSEA1+ cells support the myocardium in cardiac pressure overload.

Author information

Department of Integrative Medical Sciences, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio, United States of America.



Stage specific embryonic antigen 1+ (SSEA1+) cells have been described as the most primitive mesenchymal progenitor cell in the bone marrow. Cardiac injury mobilizes SSEA1+ cells into the peripheral blood but their in vivo function has not been characterized.


We generated animals with chimeric bone marrow to determine the fate and function of bone marrow SSEA1+ cells in response to acute cardiac pressure overload.


Lethally irradiated mice were transplanted with normal bone marrow where the wild-type SSEA1+ cells were replaced with green fluorescent protein (GFP) SSEA1+ cells. Cardiac injury was induced by trans-aortic constriction (TAC). We identified significant GFP+ cell engraftment into the myocardium after TAC. Bone marrow GFP+ SSEA1 derived cells acquired markers of endothelial lineage, but did not express markers of c-kit+ cardiac progenitor cells. The function of bone marrow SSEA1+ cells after TAC was determined by transplanting lethally irradiated mice with bone marrow depleted of SSEA1+ cells (SSEA1-BM). The cardiac function of SSEA1-BM mice declined at a greater rate after TAC compared to their complete bone marrow transplant counterparts and was associated with decreased bone marrow cell engraftment and greater vessel rarefication in the myocardium.


These results provide evidence for the recruitment of endogenous bone marrow SSEA1+ cells to the myocardium after TAC. We demonstrate that, in vivo, bone marrow SSEA1+ cells have the differentiation potential to acquire endothelial lineage markers. We also show that bone marrow SSEA1+ deficiency is associated with a reduced compensatory capacity to cardiac pressure overload, suggesting their importance in cardiac homeostasis. These data demonstrate that bone marrow SSEA1+ cells are critical for sustaining vascular density and cardiac repair to pressure overload.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center