Circulation Journal
Online ISSN : 1347-4820
Print ISSN : 1346-9843
Regenerative Medicine
Tissue Kallikrein-Modified Mesenchymal Stem Cells Provide Enhanced Protection Against Ischemic Cardiac Injury After Myocardial Infarction
Lin GaoGrant BledsoeHang YinBo ShenLee ChaoJulie Chao
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2013 Volume 77 Issue 8 Pages 2134-2144


Background: Genetically modified mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a promising approach to the treatment of cardiac injury after myocardial infarction (MI). Methods and Results: Rat MSCs were transduced with adenovirus containing human tissue kallikrein (TK) gene (TK-MSCs), and they secreted human TK into culture medium. Cultured TK-MSCs were more resistant to hypoxia-induced apoptosis and exhibited reduced caspase-3 activity compared to control GFP-MSCs. The effect of TK-MSC injection on cardiac injury was evaluated in rats at 1 and 14 days after MI. At 1 day after MI, human TK expression in the myocardium was associated with improved cardiac function and decreased inflammatory cell accumulation, proinflammatory gene expression and apoptosis. The beneficial effect of TK-MSCs against apoptosis was verified in cultured cardiomyocytes, as TK-MSC-conditioned medium suppressed hypoxia-induced apoptosis and caspase-3 activity, and increased Akt phosphorylation. At 2 weeks after MI, TK-MSCs improved cardiac function, decreased infarct size, attenuated cardiac remodeling, and promoted neovascularization, as compared to GFP-MSCs. Furthermore, the TK-MSC-conditioned medium, containing elevated vascular endothelial growth factor levels, stimulated the proliferation, migration and tube formation of cultured human endothelial cells. Conclusions: Our results indicate that TK-modified MSCs provide enhanced protection against cardiac injury, apoptosis and inflammation, and promote neovascularization after MI, leading to cardiac function improvement.  (Circ J 2013; 77: 2134–2144)

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