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      Combination of CD34-positive cell subsets with infarcted myocardium-like matrix stiffness: a potential solution to cell-based cardiac repair


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          Detection of the optimal cell transplantation strategy for myocardial infarction (MI) has attracted a great deal of attention. Commitment of engrafted cells to angiogenesis within damaged myocardium is regarded as one of the major targets in cell-based cardiac repair. Bone marrow–derived CD34-positive cells, a well-characterized population of stem cells, might represent highly functional endothelial progenitor cells and result in the formation of new blood vessels. Recently, physical microenvironment (extracellular matrix stiffness) around the engrafted cells was found to exert an essential impact on their fate. Stem cells are able to feel and respond to the tissue-like matrix stiffness to commit to a relevant lineage. Notably, the infarct area after MI experiences a time-dependent stiffness change from flexible to rigid. Our previous observations demonstrated myocardial stiffness-dependent differentiation of the unselected bone marrow–derived mononuclear cells (BMMNCs) along endothelial lineage cells. Myocardial stiffness (∽42 kPa) within the optimal time domain of cell engraftment (at week 1 to 2) after MI provided a more favourable physical microenvironment for cell specification and cell-based cardiac repair. However, the difference in tissue stiffness-dependent cell differentiation between the specific cell subsets expressing and no expressing CD34 phenotype remains uncertain. We presumed that CD34-positive cell subsets facilitated angiogenesis and subsequently resulted in cardiac repair under induction of infarcted myocardium-like matrix stiffness compared with CD34-negative cells. If the hypothesis were true, it would contribute greatly to detect the optimal cell subsets for cell therapy and to establish an optimized therapy strategy for cell-based cardiac repair.

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          Most cited references21

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          Mesenchymal stem cell injection after myocardial infarction improves myocardial compliance.

          Cellular therapy for myocardial injury has improved ventricular function in both animal and clinical studies, though the mechanism of benefit is unclear. This study was undertaken to examine the effects of cellular injection after infarction on myocardial elasticity. Coronary artery ligation of Lewis rats was followed by direct injection of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into the acutely ischemic myocardium. Two weeks postinfarct, myocardial elasticity was mapped by atomic force microscopy. MSC-injected hearts near the infarct region were twofold stiffer than myocardium from noninfarcted animals but softer than myocardium from vehicle-treated infarcted animals. After 8 wk, the following variables were evaluated: MSC engraftment and left ventricular geometry by histological methods, cardiac function with a pressure-volume conductance catheter, myocardial fibrosis by Masson Trichrome staining, vascularity by immunohistochemistry, and apoptosis by TdT-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling assay. The human cells engrafted and expressed a cardiomyocyte protein but stopped short of full differentiation and did not stimulate significant angiogenesis. MSC-injected hearts showed significantly less fibrosis than controls, as well as less left ventricular dilation, reduced apoptosis, increased myocardial thickness, and preservation of systolic and diastolic cardiac function. In summary, MSC injection after myocardial infarction did not regenerate contracting cardiomyocytes but reduced the stiffness of the subsequent scar and attenuated postinfarction remodeling, preserving some cardiac function. Improving scarred heart muscle compliance could be a functional benefit of cellular cardiomyoplasty.
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            Experimental acute myocardial infarction: telocytes involvement in neo-angiogenesis

            Abstract We used rat experimental myocardial infarction to study the ultrastructural recovery, especially neo-angiogenesis in the infarction border zone. We were interested in the possible role(s) of telocytes (TCs), a novel type of interstitial cell very recently discovered in myocardim (see http://www.telocytes.com). Electron microscopy, immunocytochemistry and analysis of several proangiogenic microRNAs provided evidence for TC involvement in neo-angiogenesis after myocardial infarction. Electron microscopy showed the close spatial association of TCs with neoangiogenetic elements. Higher resolution images provided the following information: (a) the intercellular space between the abluminal face of endothelium and its surrounding TCs is frequently less than 50 nm; (b) TCs establish multiple direct nanocontacts with endothelial cells, where the extracellular space seems obliterated; such nanocontacts have a length of 0.4–1.5 μm; (c) the absence of basal membrane on the abluminal face of endothelial cell. Besides the physical contacts (either nanoscopic or microscopic) TCs presumably contribute to neo-angiognesis via paracrine secretion (as shown by immunocytochemistry for VEGF or NOS2). Last but not least, TCs contain measurable quantities of angiogenic microRNAs (e.g. let-7e, 10a, 21, 27b, 100, 126-3p, 130a, 143, 155, 503). Taken together, the direct (physical) contact of TCs with endothelial tubes, as well as the indirect (chemical) positive influence within the ‘angiogenic zones’, suggests an important participation of TCs in neo-angiogenesis during the late stage of myocardial infarction.
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              Cardiomyocyte precursors and telocytes in epicardial stem cell niche: electron microscope images

              Abstract A highly heterogeneous population of stem and progenitor cells has been described by light immunohistochemistry in the mammalian adult heart, but the ultrastructural identity of cardiac stem cells remains unknown. Using electron microscopy, we demonstrate the presence of cells with stem features in the adult mouse heart. These putative cardiac stem cells are small (6–10 μm), round cells, with an irregular shaped nucleus, large nucleolus, few endoplasmic reticulum cisternae and mitochondria, but numerous ribosomes. Stem cells located in the epicardial stem cell niche undergo mitosis and apoptosis. Cells with intermediate features between stem cells and cardiomyocyte progenitors have also been seen. Moreover, electron microscopy showed that cardiomyocyte progenitors were added to the peripheral working cardiomyocytes. Telocytes make a supportive interstitial network for stem cells and progenitors in the stem cell niche. This study enhances the hypothesis of a unique type of cardiac stem cell and progenitors in different stages of differentiation. In our opinion, stem cells, cardiomyocyte progenitors and telocytes sustain a continuous cardiac renewal process in the adult mammalian heart.

                Author and article information

                J Cell Mol Med
                J. Cell. Mol. Med
                Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
                John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (Chichester, UK )
                June 2014
                19 June 2014
                : 18
                : 6
                : 1236-1238
                [a ]Shanghai Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University Shanghai, China
                [b ]Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University Shanghai, China
                Author notes
                * Correspondence to: Junbo GE, M.D., FACC, FESC, FSCAI (or), Aijun SUN, Ph.D., FAHA, Shanghai Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, 180 Fenglin Road, Shanghai 200032, China., Tel.: + 86-21-64041990 ext 2745, Fax: +86-21-64223006., E-mail: jbge@ 123456zs-hospital.sh.cn (or) sun.aijun@ 123456zs-hospital.sh.cn

                These authors contributed equally to this work.

                © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 31 January 2014
                : 21 March 2014
                Point of View

                Molecular medicine
                matrix stiffness,myocardial infarction,cd34-positive cells,endothelial cell lineage


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