Scientific reports

Impact of extracellular matrix on engraftment and maturation of pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes in a rat myocardial infarct model.

PMID 28819182


Pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes show great promise in regenerating the heart after myocardial infarction; however, several uncertainties exist that must be addressed before clinical trials. One practical issue is graft survival following transplantation. Although a pro-survival cocktail with Matrigel has been shown to enhance graft survival, the use of Matrigel may not be clinically feasible. The purpose of this study was to test whether a hyaluronan-based hydrogel, HyStem, could be a substitute for Matrigel. Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes diluted with HyStem alone, HyStem plus pro-survival factors, or a pro-survival cocktail with Matrigel (PSC/MG), were transplanted into a rat model of acute myocardial infarction. Histological analysis at 4 weeks post transplantation revealed that, among the three groups, recipients of PSC/MG showed the largest graft size. Additionally, the grafted cardiomyocytes in the recipients of PSC/MG had a more matured phenotype compared to those in the other two groups. These findings suggest that further studies will be required to enhance not only graft size, but also the maturation of grafted cardiomyocytes.