Intravenous infusion of mesenchymal stem cells enhances regional perfusion and improves ventricular function in a porcine model of myocardial infarction

Basic Res Cardiol. 2008 Nov;103(6):525-36. Epub 2008 Aug 14.
Halkos ME, Zhao ZQ, Kerendi F, Wang NP, Jiang R, Schmarkey LS, Martin BJ, Quyyumi AA, Few WL, Kin H, Guyton RA, Vinten-Johansen J.
Cardiothoracic Research Laboratory, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Emory Crawford Long Hospital, 550 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, USA.
Transplantation of stem cells may improve regional perfusion and post-infarct ventricular function, but the optimal dose and efficacy of cell delivery via the intravenous route has not been determined. This study tested the hypothesis that intravenous infusion of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) enhances regional perfusion and improves ventricular function after myocardial infarction. In a closed-chest pig model, the LAD coronary artery was occluded for 75 min by angioplasty balloon inflation followed by 12 weeks of reperfusion. After 15 min of reperfusion, pigs randomly received 1 of 4 treatments: (1) Vehicle (Control, n = 10); (2) 1 x 10(6) MSCs/kg (1 mill, n = 7); (3) 3 x 10(6) MSCs/kg (3 mill, n = 8) and (4) 10 x 10(6) MSCs/kg (10 mill, n = 8). Angiogenesis was demonstrated by immunohistochemical staining, myocardial blood flow (steady state and vasodilator reserve) was measured using 15 microm neutron-activated microspheres, and cardiac function was determined by contrast left ventriculography (ejection fraction) and pressure-volume relationships. After 12 week of reperfusion, von Willebrand Factor-positive vessels and tissue vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in the scar zone was significantly greater in all MSCs-treated animals relative to Control. Steady state myocardial blood flow in the scar tissue was comparable among groups. However, adenosine recruited vasodilator reserve in the scar zone induced by intracoronary adenosine was significantly higher in the MSC-treated animals compared to Control. Furthermore, preload-recruitable stroke work and systolic performance were significantly greater compared to Control. In conclusion, these data demonstrate that intravenous delivery of MSCs during early reperfusion augments vasculogenesis, enhances regional perfusion, and improves post-infarct ventricular function. The results suggest that intravenous infusion of MSCs is an effective modality for the treatment of ischemia/reperfusion induced myocardial injury.
PMID: 18704259 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]