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Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology

Delayed enrichment of mesenchymal cells promotes cardiac lineage and calcium transient development.


PMID 20060001

Abstract

Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) can be induced to differentiate into myogenic cells. Despite their potential, previous studies have not been successful in producing a high percentage of cardiac-like cells with a muscle phenotype. We hypothesized that cardiac lineage development in BM-MSC is related to cell passage, culture milieu, and enrichment for specific cell subtypes before and during differentiation. Our study demonstrated that Lin(-) BM-MSC at an intermediate passage (IP; P8-P12) expressed cardiac troponin T (cTnT) after 21 days in culture. Cardiac TnT expression was similar whether IP cells were differentiated in media containing 5-azacytidine+2% FBS (AZA; 14%) or 2% FBS alone (LS; 12%) and both were significantly higher than AZA+5% FBS. This expression was potentiated by first enriching for CD117/Sca-1 cells followed by differentiation (AZA, 39% and LS, 28%). A second sequential enrichment for the dihydropyridine receptor subunit alpha2delta1 (DHPR-alpha2) resulted in cardiac TnT expressed in 54% of cultured cells compared to 28% of cells after CD117/Sca-1(+) enrichment. Cells enriched for CD117/Sca-1 and subjected to differentiation displayed spontaneous intracellular Ca(2+) transients with an increase in transient frequency and a 60% decrease in the transient duration amplitude between days 14 and 29. In conclusion, IP CD117/Sca-1(+) murine BM-MSCs display robust cardiac muscle lineage development that can be induced independent of AZA but is diminished under higher serum concentrations. Furthermore, temporal changes in calcium kinetics commensurate with increased cTnT expression suggest progressive maturation of a cardiac muscle lineage. Enrichment with CD117/Sca-1 to establish lineage commitment followed by DHPR-alpha2 in lineage developing cells may enhance the therapeutic potential of these cells for transplantation.