Molecular and cellular biochemistry

Mesenchymal stem cells overexpressing integrin-linked kinase attenuate left ventricular remodeling and improve cardiac function after myocardial infarction.

PMID 25134935


In the present study, we investigated whether mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) overexpressing integrin-linked kinase (ILK) might regulate ventricular remodeling and cardiac function in a porcine myocardial infarction model. ILK-modified MSCs (ILK-MSCs) (n = 8), MSCs (n = 8) or placebo (n = 8) were injected into peri-infarct myocardium 7 days after ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery. ILK expression was confirmed by immunofluorescence, real-time PCR, Western blot analysis, and flow cytometry. In vitro assays indicated increased proliferation and reduced apoptosis of MSCs due to overexpression of ILK. Echocardiographic, single-photon emission computed tomography and positron emission tomography analyses demonstrated preserved cardiac function and myocardial perfusion. Reduced fibrosis, increased cardiomyocyte proliferation, and enhanced angiogenesis were observed in the ILK-MSC group. Reduced apoptosis, as demonstrated by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling analysis, was also noted. In conclusion, ILK promotes MSC proliferation and suppresses apoptosis. ILK-MSC transplantation improves ventricular remodeling and cardiac function in pigs after MI. It is associated with increased angiogenesis, reduced apoptosis, and increased cardiomyocyte proliferation. This may represent a new approach to the treatment of post-infarct remodeling and subsequent heart failure.