Imaging survival and function of transplanted cardiac resident stem cells.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:The goal of this study is to characterize resident cardiac stem cells (CSCs) and investigate their therapeutic efficacy in myocardial infarction by molecular imaging methods. BACKGROUND:CSCs have been isolated and characterized in vitro. These cells offer a provocative method to regenerate the damaged myocardium. However, the survival kinetics and function of transplanted CSCs have not been fully elucidated. METHODS:CSCs were isolated from L2G85 transgenic mice (FVB strain background) that constitutively express both firefly luciferase and enhanced green fluorescence protein reporter gene. CSCs were characterized in vitro and transplanted in vivo into murine infarction models. Multimodality noninvasive imaging techniques were used to assess CSC survival and therapeutic efficacy for restoration of cardiac function. RESULTS:CSCs can be isolated from L2G85 mice, and fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis showed expression of resident CSC markers (Sca-1, c-Kit) and mesenchymal stem cell markers (CD90, CD106). Afterwards, 5 x 10(5) CSCs (n = 30) or phosphate-buffered saline control (n = 15) was injected into the hearts of syngeneic FVB mice undergoing left anterior descending artery ligation. Bioluminescence imaging showed poor donor cell survival by week 8. Echocardiogram, invasive hemodynamic pressure-volume analysis, positron emission tomography imaging with fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose, and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated no significant difference in cardiac contractility and viability between the CSC and control group. Finally, postmortem analysis confirmed transplanted CSCs integrated with host cardiomyocytes by immunohistology. CONCLUSIONS:In a mouse myocardial infarction model, Sca-1-positive CSCs provide no long-term engraftment and benefit to cardiac function as determined by multimodality imaging.
Project description:Myocardial infarction (MI) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality around the world. A major goal of regenerative medicine is to replenish the dead myocardium after MI. Although several strategies have been used to regenerate myocardium, stem cell therapy remains a major approach to replenish the dead myocardium of an MI heart. Accumulating evidence suggests the presence of resident cardiac stem cells (CSCs) in the adult heart and their endocrine and/or paracrine effects on cardiac regeneration. However, CSC isolation and their characterization and differentiation toward myocardial cells, especially cardiomyocytes, remains a technical challenge. In the present study, we provided a simple method for the isolation, characterization, and differentiation of CSCs from the adult mouse heart. Here, we describe a density gradient method for the isolation of CSCs, where the heart is digested by a 0.2% collagenase II solution. To characterize the isolated CSCs, we evaluated the expression of CSCs/cardiac markers Sca-1, NKX2-5, and GATA4, and pluripotency/stemness markers OCT4, SOX2, and Nanog. We also determined the proliferation potential of isolated CSCs by culturing them in a Petri dish and assessing the expression of the proliferation marker Ki-67. For evaluating the differentiation potential of CSCs, we selected seven- to ten-days cultured CSCs. We transferred them to a new plate with a cardiomyocyte differentiation medium. They are incubated in a cell culture incubator for 12 days, while the differentiation medium is changed every three days. The differentiated CSCs express cardiomyocyte-specific markers: actinin and troponin I. Thus, CSCs isolated with this protocol have stemness and cardiac markers, and they have a potential for proliferation and differentiation toward cardiomyocyte lineage.
Project description:Despite ongoing clinical trials, the optimal time for delivery of bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMCs) after myocardial infarction is unclear. We compared the viability and effects of transplanted BMCs on cardiac function in the acute and subacute inflammatory phases of myocardial infarction.The time course of acute inflammatory cell infiltration was quantified by FACS analysis of enzymatically digested hearts of FVB mice (n=12) after left anterior descending artery ligation. Mac-1(+)Gr-1(high) neutrophil infiltration peaked at day 4. BMCs were harvested from transgenic FVB mice expressing firefly luciferase (Fluc) and green fluorescent protein (GFP). Afterward, 2.5x10(6) BMCs were injected into the left ventricle of wild-type FVB mice either immediately (acute BMC) or 7 days (subacute BMC) after myocardial infarction, or after a sham procedure (n=8 per group). In vivo bioluminescence imaging showed an early signal increase in both BMC groups at day 7, followed by a nonsignificant trend (P=0.203) toward improved BMC survival in the subacute BMC group that persisted until the bioluminescence imaging signal reached<0.01) and 6 weeks (both BMC groups versus saline; P<0.05) but no significant differences between the 2 BMC groups. FACS analysis of BMC-injected hearts at day 7 revealed that GFP(+) BMCs expressed hematopoietic (CD45, Mac-1, Gr-1), minimal progenitor (Sca-1, c-kit), and no endothelial (CD133, Flk-1) or cardiac (Trop-T) cell markers.Timing of BMC delivery has minimal effects on intramyocardial retention and preservation of cardiac function. In general, there is poor long-term engraftment and BMCs tend to adopt inflammatory cell phenotypes.
Project description:At present, the approaches aimed at increasing myocardial regeneration after infarction are not available. The key question is the identity of cells capable of producing functional cardiac myocytes (CMs), replenishing those lost during ischemia. With identification of resident cardiac stem cells (CSCs), it has been supposed that this cell population may be crucial for myocardial self-renewal and regeneration. In the last few years, the focus has been shifted towards another concept, implying that new CMs are produced by dedifferentiation and proliferation of mature CMs. The observation that CSCs can undergo development inside immature cardiac cells by formation of "cell-in-cell structures" (CICSs) has enabled us to conclude that encapsulated CICSs are implicated in mammalian cardiomyogenesis over the entire lifespan. Earlier we demonstrated that new CMs are produced through formation of CSC-derived transitory amplifying cells (TACs) either in the CM colonies or inside encapsulated CICSs. In this study, we described the phenomenon of CSC penetration into mature CMs, resulting in the formation of vacuole-like CICSs (or non-encapsulated CICSs) containing proliferating CSCs with subsequent differentiation of CSC progeny into TACs and their release. In addition, we compared the phenotypes of TACs derived from encapsulated and non-encapsulated CICSs developing in immature and mature CMs, respectively.
Project description:Cardiac resident stem/progenitor cells (CSC/CPCs) are critical to the cellular and functional integrity of the heart because they maintain myocardial cell homeostasis. Several populations of CSC/CPCs have been identified based on expression of different stem cell-associated antigens. Sca-1(+) cells in the cardiac tissue may be the most common CSC/CPCs. However, they are a heterogeneous cell population and, in transplants, clinicians might transplant more endothelial cells, cardiomyocytes, or other cells than stem cells. The purposes of this study were to (1) isolate CSC/CPCs with Lin(-)CD45(-)Sca-1(+)CD31(-) and Lin(-)CD45(-)Sca-1(+)CD31(+) surface antigens using flow-activated cell sorting; (2) investigate their differentiation potential; and (3) determine the molecular basis for differences in stemness characteristics between cell subtypes. The results indicated that mouse heart-derived Sca-1(+)CD31(-) cells were multipotent and retained the ability to differentiate into different cardiac cell lineages, but Sca-1(+)CD31(+) cells did not. Integrated analysis of microRNA and mRNA expression indicated that 20 microRNAs and 49 mRNAs were inversely associated with Sca-1(+)CD31(-) and Sca-1(+)CD31(+) subtype stemness characteristics. In particular, mmu-miR-322-5p had more targeted and inversely associated genes and transcription factors and might have higher potential for CSC/CPCs differentiation.
Project description:TNF, signaling through TNFR2, has been implicated in tissue repair, a process that in the heart may be mediated by activated resident cardiac stem cells (CSCs). The objective of our study is to determine whether ligation of TNFR2 can induce activation of resident CSCs in the setting of ischemic cardiac injury. We show that in human cardiac tissue affected by ischemia heart disease (IHD), TNFR2 is expressed on intrinsic CSCs, identified as c-kit(+)/CD45(-)/VEGFR2(-) interstitial round cells, which are activated as determined by entry to cell cycle and expression of Lin-28. Wild-type mouse heart organ cultures subjected to hypoxic conditions both increase cardiac TNF expression and show induced TNFR2 and Lin-28 expression in c-kit(+) CSCs that have entered cell cycle. These CSC responses are enhanced by exogenous TNF. TNFR2(-/-) mouse heart organ cultures subjected to hypoxia increase cardiac TNF but fail to induce CSC activation. Similarly, c-kit(+) CSCs isolated from mouse hearts exposed to hypoxia or TNF show induction of Lin-28, TNFR2, cell cycle entry, and cardiogenic marker, ?-sarcomeric actin (?-SA), responses more pronounced by hypoxia in combination with TNF. Knockdown of Lin-28 by siRNA results in reduced levels of TNFR2 expression, cell cycle entry, and diminished expression of ?-SA. We conclude that hypoxia-induced c-kit(+) CSC activation is mediated by TNF/TNFR2/Lin-28 signaling. These observations suggest that TNFR2 signaling in resident c-kit(+) CSCs induces cardiac repair, findings which provide further understanding of the unanticipated harmful effects of TNF blockade in human IHD.
Project description:Experimental data suggest that cell-based therapies may be useful for cardiac regeneration following ischaemic heart disease. Bone marrow (BM) cells have been reported to contribute to tissue repair after myocardial infarction (MI) by a variety of humoural and cellular mechanisms. However, there is no direct evidence, so far, that BM cells can generate cardiac stem cells (CSCs). To investigate whether BM cells contribute to repopulate the Kit(+) CSCs pool, we transplanted BM cells from transgenic mice, expressing green fluorescent protein under the control of Kit regulatory elements, into wild-type irradiated recipients. Following haematological reconstitution and MI, CSCs were cultured from cardiac explants to generate 'cardiospheres', a microtissue normally originating in vitro from CSCs. These were all green fluorescent (i.e. BM derived) and contained cells capable of initiating differentiation into cells expressing the cardiac marker Nkx2.5. These findings indicate that, at least in conditions of local acute cardiac damage, BM cells can home into the heart and give rise to cells that share properties of resident Kit(+) CSCs.
Project description:<h4>Aims</h4>Because the mechanism of mature cardiomyocyte (CM) development from cardiac stem cells (CSCs) is not fully understood, we explored the involvement of CSCs into two pathways of cardiomyogenesis in adult mammalian heart: (1) via colony formation and (2) by means of intracellular development of CSCs inside CMs followed by the formation of "cell-in-cell structures" (CICSs).<h4>Methods and results</h4>Using immunostaining and confocal microscopy, we studied the presence of CSC-derived colonies, CICSs and transitory amplifying cells (TACs), released from ruptured CICSs, in a suspension of <i>ex vivo</i> freshly isolated myocardial cells of mammals of different age and species, human including. All subsets of CSCs (c-kit+, Sca-1+ and Isl-1+) were found in mammals of different age. It was shown that c-kit+ and Sca-1+ CSCs produce both colonies and CICSs. However, Isl-1+ CSCs seem to be involved in cardiac growth during first month of age only both through colony formation and CICS generation. In turn, the studies on myocardial cell suspensions of adult C57/bl6N mice, one-year-old bull and 45-year-old woman not only confirmed the involvement of c-kit+ and Sca-1+ CSCs in both mechanisms of cardiomyogenesis, but also showed that Isl-1+ colonies are present in the myocardium of adult mice and rarely in human.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The presence of CSC-derived colonies, CICSs and TACs in all experimental specimens of myocardium proved our previous hypothesis about two pathways that generate new CMs in adult heart. Moreover, we suggest that TACs play a central role in self-renewal of myocardium throughout the lifetime of mammals.
Project description:BACKGROUND:For more than a decade, Sca-1+ cells within the mouse heart have been widely recognized as a stem cell population with multipotency that can give rise to cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells, and smooth muscle cells in vitro and after cardiac grafting. However, the developmental origin and authentic nature of these cells remain elusive. METHODS:Here, we used a series of high-fidelity genetic mouse models to characterize the identity and regenerative potential of cardiac resident Sca-1+ cells. RESULTS:With these novel genetic tools, we found that Sca-1 does not label cardiac precursor cells during early embryonic heart formation. Postnatal cardiac resident Sca-1+ cells are in fact a pure endothelial cell population. They retain endothelial properties and exhibit minimal cardiomyogenic potential during development, normal aging and upon ischemic injury. CONCLUSIONS:Our study provides definitive insights into the nature of cardiac resident Sca-1+ cells. The observations challenge the current dogma that cardiac resident Sca-1+ cells are intrinsic stem cells for myocardial development, renewal, and repair, and suggest that the mechanisms of transplanted Sca-1+ cells in heart repair need to be reassessed.
Project description:Cardiac stem cells (CSCs) were known to secrete diverse paracrine factors leading to functional improvement and beneficial left ventricular remodeling via activation of the endogenous pro-survival signaling pathway. However, little is known about the paracrine factors secreted by CSCs and their roles in cardiomyocyte survival during hypoxic condition mimicking the post-myocardial infarction environment. We established Sca-1+/CD31- human telomerase reverse transcriptase-immortalized CSCs (Sca-1+/CD31- CSCs(hTERT)), evaluated their stem cell properties, and paracrine potential in cardiomyocyte survival during hypoxia-induced injury. Sca-1+/CD31- CSCs(hTERT) sustained proliferation ability even after long-term culture exceeding 100 population doublings, and represented multi-differentiation potential into cardiomyogenic, endothelial, adipogenic, and osteogenic lineages. Dominant factors secreted from Sca-1+/CD31- CSCs(hTERT) were EGF, TGF-?1, IGF-1, IGF-2, MCP-1, HGF R, and IL-6. Among these, MCP-1 was the most predominant factor in Sca-1+/CD31- CSCs(hTERT) conditioned medium (CM). Sca-1+/CD31- CSCs(hTERT) CM increased survival and reduced apoptosis of HL-1 cardiomyocytes during hypoxic injury. MCP-1 silencing in Sca-1+/CD31- CSCs(hTERT) CM resulted in a significant reduction in cardiomyocyte apoptosis. We demonstrated that Sca-1+/CD31- CSCs(hTERT) exhibited long-term proliferation capacity and multi-differentiation potential. Sca-1+/CD31- CSCs(hTERT) CM protected cardiomyocytes from hypoxic injury partly via MCP-1-dependent mechanism. Thus, they are valuable sources for in vitro and in vivo studies in the cardiovascular field.
Project description:Blood-derived circulatory angiogenic cells (CACs) and resident cardiac stem cells (CSCs) have both been shown to improve cardiac function after myocardial infarction. The superiority of either cell type has long been an area of speculation with no definitive head-to-head trial. In this study, we compared the effect of human CACs and CSCs, alone or in combination, on myocardial function in an immunodeficient mouse model of myocardial infarction.CACs and CSCs were cultured from left atrial appendages and blood samples obtained from patients undergoing clinically indicated heart surgery. CACs expressed a broader cytokine profile than CSCs, with 3 cytokines in common. Coculture of CACs and CSCs further enhanced the production of stromal cell-derived factor-1? and vascular endothelial growth factor (P ? 0.05). Conditioned media promoted equivalent vascular networks and CAC recruitment with superior effects using cocultured conditioned media. Intramyocardial injection of CACs or CSCs alone improved myocardial function and reduced scar burdens when injected 1 week after myocardial infarction (P ? 0.05 versus negative controls). Cotransplantation of CACs and CSCs together improved myocardial function and reduced scar burdens to a greater extent than either stem cell therapy alone (P ? 0.05 versus CAC or CSC injection alone).CACs and CSCs provide unique paracrine repertoires with equivalent effects on angiogenesis, stem cell migration, and myocardial repair. Combination therapy with both cell types synergistically improves postinfarct myocardial function greater than either therapy alone. This synergy is likely mediated by the complimentary paracrine signatures that promote revascularization and the growth of new myocardium.