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Direct evaluation of myocardial viability and stem cell engraftment demonstrates salvage of the injured myocardium.

Authors: Paul J PJ. Kim, Morteza M. Mahmoudi, Xiaohu X. Ge, Yuka Y. Matsuura, Ildiko I. Toma, Scott S. Metzler, Nigel G NG. Kooreman, John J. Ramunas, Colin C. Holbrook, Michael V MV. McConnell, Helen H. Blau, Phillip P. Harnish, Eric E. Rulifson, Phillip C PC. Yang
Published: 02/05/2015, Circulation research


The mechanism of functional restoration by stem cell therapy remains poorly understood. Novel manganese-enhanced MRI and bioluminescence reporter gene imaging were applied to follow myocardial viability and cell engraftment, respectively. Human-placenta-derived amniotic mesenchymal stem cells (AMCs) demonstrate unique immunoregulatory and precardiac properties. In this study, the restorative effects of 3 AMC-derived subpopulations were examined in a murine myocardial injury model: (1) unselected AMCs, (2) ckit(+)AMCs, and (3) AMC-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (MiPSCs).


To determine the differential restorative effects of the AMC-derived subpopulations in the murine myocardial injury model using multimodality imaging.

Methods And Results

SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency) mice underwent left anterior descending artery ligation and were divided into 4 treatment arms: (1) normal saline control (n=14), (2) unselected AMCs (n=10), (3) ckit(+)AMCs (n=13), and (4) MiPSCs (n=11). Cardiac MRI assessed myocardial viability and left ventricular function, whereas bioluminescence imaging assessed stem cell engraftment during a 4-week period. Immunohistological labeling and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction of the explanted myocardium were performed. The unselected AMC and ckit(+)AMC-treated mice demonstrated transient left ventricular functional improvement. However, the MiPSCs exhibited a significantly greater increase in left ventricular function compared with all the other groups during the entire 4-week period. Left ventricular functional improvement correlated with increased myocardial viability and sustained stem cell engraftment. The MiPSC-treated animals lacked any evidence of de novo cardiac differentiation.


The functional restoration seen in MiPSCs was characterized by increased myocardial viability and sustained engraftment without de novo cardiac differentiation, indicating salvage of the injured myocardium.

© 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
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