A promising technique for transplantation of bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells into rat heart

Cardiovasc Pathol. May-Jun 2007;16(3):127-35. doi: 10.1016/j.carpath.2006.11.008. Epub 2007 Feb 22.


Objective: To investigate the feasibility of intracoronary application of endothelial progenitor cells and the subsequent distribution within the heart.

Methods: Endothelial progenitors cells (EPCs) cultured from rat bone marrow were identified by double-positive staining with Dil-Ac-LDL and BS1-lectin. Twenty-four hours before cell transplantation, EPCs were labeled with 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU). Cells (5 x 10(5) in 250-microl medium) were injected into healthy rats, either as intracoronary application (n=11) or as intramyocardial injection (n = 6). At 15 min or 3 days posttransplantation, hearts as well as other organs (lung, liver, kidney, and spleen) were collected and processed for subsequent BrdU immunohistochemistry. The number of BrdU-positive cells per tissue area was counted.

Results: Compared to intramyocardial injection, intracoronary administration resulted in more than twice as much positive cells in the heart (P < .05), with no local differences within the heart. Whereas after 15 min, EPCs were equally distributed in all examined organs (except for the spleen), cells that were still present after 3 days, approximately 10%, were selectively restricted to the heart.

Conclusions: Our data indicate that the intracoronary application provides a promising technique for EPC transplantation in the rat heart.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology*
  • Bromodeoxyuridine / metabolism
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Cell Count
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / transplantation*
  • Heart Ventricles / surgery*
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Kidney / cytology
  • Liver / cytology
  • Lung / cytology
  • Male
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Bromodeoxyuridine