Cardiomyogenic differentiation potential of human endothelial progenitor cells isolated from patients with myocardial infarction.

PMID 24969968


Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are known to play a beneficial role by promoting postnatal vasculogenesis in pathological events, such as ischemic heart disease and peripheral artery disease. However, little is known about the potential of EPCs to restore heart damage tissue. We compared the cardiac differentiation capacity of EPCs isolated from peripheral blood of patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) with EPCs obtained from umbilical cord blood (UCB). EPCs from both origins were isolated by density gradient centrifugation and characterized through the use of endothelial markers (UEA-1lectin, CD133 and KDR) and endothelial cell colony-forming unit assay. Cardiac differentiation capacity of EPCs was assessed by immunofluorescence and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction after 5-azacytidine (5-aza) induction. No significant differences were observed between the number of endothelial cell colony-forming units in peripheral blood of patients with AMI and samples from UCB. Moreover, 5-aza induced the appearance of myotube-like structures and the positive expression of sarcomeric α-actinin, cardiac troponin I and T and desmin in a similar pattern for both cell sources, which indicates a comparable acquisition of a cardiac-like phenotype. For the first time, we have compared, in vitro, the cardiomyogenic potential of EPCs derived from patients with AMI with UCB-derived EPCs. Our data indicate that EPCs obtained from both origins have similar plasticity and functions and suggest a potential therapeutic efficacy in cardiac cell therapy.