Background aims: The treatment of peripheral vascular disease (PVD) with stem cells potentially offers a promising strategy. We tested marrow-isolated adult multilineage-inducible (MIAMI) cells to induce neovascularization in a mouse model of critical hindlimb ischemia (CLI).
Methods: CLI was induced in the right hindlimb of Balb/C mice. One million MIAMI cells, normally grown at 3% O₂, were injected in the adductor muscle along the ischemic region. All animals (n = 11 per group) were immunosuppressed with cyclosporine daily for the entire period. Human foreskin fibroblast (HFF) cells and phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) were used as controls. Blood perfusion in the ischemic right and non-ischemic left hindlimbs was measured.
Results: Compared with animals receiving HFF cells or PBS, MIAMI cells significantly improved blood perfusion, necrosis and inflammation in the ischemic limb. A fraction of injected MIAMI cells expressed CD31 and von Willebrand factor (vWF). MIAMI cells in vitro, under pro-angiogenic growth conditions, differentiated into endothelial-like cells and expressed endothelial markers such as CD31 and vWF, determined by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), and CD31 and kinase insert domain receptor (KDR), determined by immunofluorescence. Moreover, MIAMI cells formed vascular endothelial-like tubules in the presence of matrigel. Bioplex immunoassay analysis showed increased secretion of angiogenic/anti-inflammatory factors by the MIAMI cells under 3% O₂ compared with 21% O₂, including monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), fractalkine (Ftk), growth-related oncogene (GRO), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8. Furthermore, transcripts for anti-inflammatory molecules stanniocalcin-1 (STC-1) and tumor necrosis factor-α-stimulated gene 6 (TSG-6) were up-regulated several fold.
Conclusions: MIAMI cells can be very useful for patients affected by CLI. MIAMI cells promote blood vessel formation and reduce inflammation and necrosis in ischemic tissue.