Targeting chronic cardiac remodeling with cardiac progenitor cells in a murine model of ischemia/reperfusion injury

Janine C. Deddens, Dries A. Feyen, Peter-Paul Zwetsloot, Maike A. Brans, Sailay Siddiqi, Linda W. van Laake, Pieter A. Doevendans, Joost P. Sluijter
BACKGROUND Translational failure for cardiovascular disease is a substantial problem involving both high research costs and an ongoing lack of novel treatment modalities. Despite the progress already made, cell therapy for chronic heart failure in the clinical setting is still hampered by poor translation. We used a murine model of chronic ischemia/reperfusion injury to examine the effect of minimally invasive application of cardiac progenitor cells (CPC) in cardiac remodeling and to improve clinical translation. METHODS 28 days after the induction of I/R injury, mice were randomized to receive either CPC (0.5 million) or vehicle by echo-guided intra-myocardial injection. To determine retention, CPC were localized in vivo by bioluminescence imaging (BLI) two days after injection. Cardiac function was assessed by 3D echocardiography and speckle tracking analysis to quantify left ventricular geometry and regional myocardial deformation. RESULTS BLI demonstrated successful injection of CPC (18/23), which were mainly located along the needle track in the anterior/septal wall. Although CPC treatment did not result in overall restoration of cardiac function, a relative preservation of the left ventricular end-diastolic volume was observed at 4 weeks follow-up compared to vehicle control (+5.3 ± 2.1 μl vs. +10.8 ± 1.5 μl). This difference was reflected in an increased strain rate (+16%) in CPC treated mice. CONCLUSIONS CPC transplantation can be adequately studied in chronic cardiac remodeling using this study set-up and by that provide a translatable murine model facilitating advances in research for new therapeutic approaches to ultimately improve therapy for chronic heart failure.

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