A novel sub-population of bone marrow-derived myocardial stem cells: potential autologous cell therapy in myocardial infarction.

The Journal of heart and lung transplantation : the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation

PubMedID: 15261183

Soukiasian HJ, Czer LS, Avital I, Aoki T, Kim YH, Umehara Y, Pass J, Tabrizi R, Magliato K, Fontana GP, Cheng W, Demetriou AA, Trento A. A novel sub-population of bone marrow-derived myocardial stem cells: potential autologous cell therapy in myocardial infarction. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2004;23(7):873-80.
BACKGROUND
Several studies have identified beta2-microglobulin-negative (beta2M(-)) cells as a potential stem cell fraction in the bone marrow of rats and humans. We studied the ability of bone marrow-derived beta2M(-) cells to differentiate into cardiomyocytes and reconstitute the myocardium in a model of myocardial infarction.

METHODS
beta2M(-) cells were purified from bone marrow of Lewis rats using a magnetic activated cell-sorting technique. beta2M(-) cells, 2.5 x 10(6) cells in 100 microl of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), were transplanted 7 days after infarction into a transmural myocardial scar induced by cryoinjury in Lewis rats (n = 9). Control Group 1(n = 10) received a 100-microl injection of PBS, and Control Group 2 (n = 15) received no injection. The beta2M(-) cells were labeled before transplantation, using the membrane fluorescent intercalated dye, PKH26. Repopulation was examined at 6 and 8 weeks after transplantation. Differentiation of beta2M(-) cells into cardiac myocytes was determined by the colocalization of troponin and PKH26 to the same cell, utilizing immunohistochemistry, ultraviolet photomicroscopy and fluorescence microscopy on 6-microm serial sections. Area of engraftment within the scar was calculated by planimetry.

RESULTS
The treatment group had multiple islands of de novo-formed myocardium within the fibrous matrix of the transmural scar (mean area 35 +/- 4.2% of scar area at 6 and 8 weeks). These cells colocalized cardiac-specific troponin and PKH26. Using these techniques, no myocardial islands were seen in the control groups. Before transplantation, beta2M(-) cells were troponin-negative.

CONCLUSIONS
This study demonstrates that beta2M(-) cells represent a novel sub-population of bone marrow-derived stem cells capable of successful and substantial engraftment in areas of transmural myocardial scar, with de novo formation of cardiac myocytes. The functional significance of this observation is being studied.