Aims: Bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cell (BMStC) transplantation into the infarcted heart improves left ventricular function and cardiac remodelling. However, it has been suggested that tissue-specific cells may be better for cardiac repair than cells from other sources. The objective of the present work has been the comparison of in vitro and in vivo properties of adult human cardiac stromal cells (CStC) to those of syngeneic BMStC.
Methods and results: Although CStC and BMStC exhibited a similar immunophenotype, their gene, microRNA, and protein expression profiles were remarkably different. Biologically, CStC, compared with BMStC, were less competent in acquiring the adipogenic and osteogenic phenotype but more efficiently expressed cardiovascular markers. When injected into the heart, in rat a model of chronic myocardial infarction, CStC persisted longer within the tissue, migrated into the scar, and differentiated into adult cardiomyocytes better than BMStC.
Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that although CStC and BMStC share a common stromal phenotype, CStC present cardiovascular-associated features and may represent an important cell source for more efficient cardiac repair.