Journal of cardiac failure

C-Kit Positive Cardiac Stem Cells and Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Synergistically Enhance Angiogenesis and Improve Cardiac Function After Myocardial Infarction in a Paracrine Manner.

PMID 28284757


Stem cell transplantation offers a promising treatment for heart failure. Recent studies show that both c-kit positive cardiac stem cells (CSCs) and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) are good candidates for stem cell therapy to treat heart failure; however, the exact mechanism of stem cell therapy in improving cardiac function of ischemic cardiomyopathy is not fully known. Our objective was to test our hypothesis that CSCs and/or BM-MSCs repair the damaged heart by boosting post-myocardial infarction (MI) angiogenesis in a paracrine manner. We isolated and purified CSCs and BM-MSCs from rats. Intramyocardial injections of CSCs and/or BM-MSCs were performed at 28 days after MI. We applied cardiac ultrasound and histological analysis to evaluate the effect of cell therapy on cardiac function and cardiac remodeling. In vivo donor cell transplantation experiments showed that CSCs and/or BM-MSCs improved cardiac function after MI and reduced infarct size. However, in vivo cell tracking experiments showed that minimal donor cells remained in the myocardium after cell transplantation. Our further in vitro and in vivo experiments showed that transplantation of CSCs enhanced the expression of pro-angiogenic factors and boosted post-MI angiogenesis in the myocardium in a paracrine manner, which in part contributed to the effect of CSCs on cardiac recovery after MI. CSCs and BM-MSCs synergistically inhibited CSC/BM-MSC apoptosis and enhanced their proliferation in a paracrine manner. This resulted in a larger number of transplanted cells remaining in the post-MI myocardium after coinjection of CSCs and BM-MSCs, and therefore the accumulation of more pro-angiogenic factors in the heart tissue compared to transplantation of CSCs or MSCs alone. Consequently, transplantation of both CSCs and BM-MSCs was superior to transplantation of either CSCs or BM-MSCs alone to boost post-MI angiogenesis and improve cardiac function after MI. C-kit