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      Translational cardiac stem cell therapy: advancing from first-generation to next-generation cell types

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          Abstract

          Acute myocardial infarction and chronic heart failure rank among the major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Except for heart transplantation, current therapy options only treat the symptoms but do not cure the disease. Stem cell-based therapies represent a possible paradigm shift for cardiac repair. However, most of the first-generation approaches displayed heterogeneous clinical outcomes regarding efficacy. Stemming from the desire to closely match the target organ, second-generation cell types were introduced and rapidly moved from bench to bedside. Unfortunately, debates remain around the benefit of stem cell therapy, optimal trial design parameters, and the ideal cell type. Aiming at highlighting controversies, this article provides a critical overview of the translation of first-generation and second-generation cell types. It further emphasizes the importance of understanding the mechanisms of cardiac repair and the lessons learned from first-generation trials, in order to improve cell-based therapies and to potentially finally implement cell-free therapies.

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          Most cited references 135

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          Comparison of allogeneic vs autologous bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cells delivered by transendocardial injection in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy: the POSEIDON randomized trial.

          Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are under evaluation as a therapy for ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM). Both autologous and allogeneic MSC therapies are possible; however, their safety and efficacy have not been compared. To test whether allogeneic MSCs are as safe and effective as autologous MSCs in patients with left ventricular (LV) dysfunction due to ICM. A phase 1/2 randomized comparison (POSEIDON study) in a US tertiary-care referral hospital of allogeneic and autologous MSCs in 30 patients with LV dysfunction due to ICM between April 2, 2010, and September 14, 2011, with 13-month follow-up. Twenty million, 100 million, or 200 million cells (5 patients in each cell type per dose level) were delivered by transendocardial stem cell injection into 10 LV sites. Thirty-day postcatheterization incidence of predefined treatment-emergent serious adverse events (SAEs). Efficacy assessments included 6-minute walk test, exercise peak VO2, Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ), New York Heart Association class, LV volumes, ejection fraction (EF), early enhancement defect (EED; infarct size), and sphericity index. Within 30 days, 1 patient in each group (treatment-emergent SAE rate, 6.7%) was hospitalized for heart failure, less than the prespecified stopping event rate of 25%. The 1-year incidence of SAEs was 33.3% (n = 5) in the allogeneic group and 53.3% (n = 8) in the autologous group (P = .46). At 1 year, there were no ventricular arrhythmia SAEs observed among allogeneic recipients compared with 4 patients (26.7%) in the autologous group (P = .10). Relative to baseline, autologous but not allogeneic MSC therapy was associated with an improvement in the 6-minute walk test and the MLHFQ score, but neither improved exercise VO2 max. Allogeneic and autologous MSCs reduced mean EED by −33.21% (95% CI, −43.61% to −22.81%; P < .001) and sphericity index but did not increase EF. Allogeneic MSCs reduced LV end-diastolic volumes. Low-dose concentration MSCs (20 million cells) produced greatest reductions in LV volumes and increased EF. Allogeneic MSCs did not stimulate significant donor-specific alloimmune reactions. In this early-stage study of patients with ICM, transendocardial injection of allogeneic and autologous MSCs without a placebo control were both associated with low rates of treatment-emergent SAEs, including immunologic reactions. In aggregate, MSC injection favorably affected patient functional capacity, quality of life, and ventricular remodeling. clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01087996.
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            In vivo reprogramming of murine cardiac fibroblasts into induced cardiomyocytes

             Li Qian,  Yu Huang,  C Spencer (2012)
            SUMMARY The reprogramming of adult cells into pluripotent cells or directly into alternative adult cell types holds great promise for regenerative medicine. We reported that cardiac fibroblasts, which represent 50% of the cells in the mammalian heart, can be directly reprogrammed to adult cardiomyocyte-like cells in vitro by the addition of Gata4, Mef2c and Tbx5 (GMT). Here, we use genetic lineage-tracing to show that resident non-myocytes in the murine heart can be reprogrammed into cardiomyocyte-like cells in vivo by local delivery of GMT after coronary ligation. Induced cardiomyocytes became bi-nucleate, assembled sarcomeres and had cardiomyocyte-like gene expression. Analysis of single cells revealed ventricular cardiomyocyte-like action potentials, beating upon electrical stimulation, and evidence of electrical coupling. In vivo delivery of GMT decreased infarct size and modestly attenuated cardiac dysfunction up to 3 months after coronary ligation. Delivery of the pro-angiogenic and fibroblast activating peptide, Thymosin β4, along with GMT, resulted in further improvements in scar area and cardiac function. These findings demonstrate that cardiac fibroblasts can be reprogrammed into cardiomyocyte-like cells in their native environment for potential regenerative purposes.
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              Heart repair by reprogramming non-myocytes with cardiac transcription factors

              The adult mammalian heart possesses little regenerative potential following injury. Fibrosis due to activation of cardiac fibroblasts impedes cardiac regeneration and contributes to loss of contractile function, pathological remodeling and susceptibility to arrhythmias. Cardiac fibroblasts account for a majority of cells in the heart and represent a potential cellular source for restoration of cardiac function following injury through phenotypic reprogramming to a myocardial cell fate. Here we show that four transcription factors, GATA4, Hand2, MEF2C and Tbx5 can cooperatively reprogram adult mouse tail-tip and cardiac fibroblasts into beating cardiac-like myocytes in vitro. Forced expression of these factors in dividing non-cardiomyocytes in mice reprograms these cells into functional cardiac-like myocytes, improves cardiac function and reduces adverse ventricular remodeling following myocardial infarction. Our results suggest a strategy for cardiac repair through reprogramming fibroblasts resident in the heart with cardiogenic transcription factors or other molecules.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                +41-(0)44-255-9362 , +41-(0)44-634-5610 , maximilian.emmert@usz.ch
                Journal
                NPJ Regen Med
                NPJ Regen Med
                NPJ Regenerative Medicine
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2057-3995
                13 June 2017
                13 June 2017
                2017
                : 2
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1937 0650, GRID grid.7400.3, Institute for Regenerative Medicine, , University of Zurich, ; Zurich, 8044 Switzerland
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0478 9977, GRID grid.412004.3, Division of Surgical Research, , University Hospital of Zurich, ; Zurich, 8091 Switzerland
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0478 9977, GRID grid.412004.3, Heart Center Zurich, , University Hospital of Zurich, ; Zurich, Switzerland
                [4 ]Wyss Translational Center Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
                Article
                24
                10.1038/s41536-017-0024-1
                5677990
                © The Author(s) 2017

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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                © The Author(s) 2017

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