Objective: Stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) is a potent chemotaxin. Increased SDF-1 levels can be found in ischemic myocardium and might protect against ischemia-reperfusion injury. We hypothesized that transplantation of stem cells overexpressing SDF-1 might improve cardiac function after myocardial infarction (MI). We compared intramyocardial injection with a scaffold-based application of SDF-1-transfected cells.
Methods: Skeletal myoblasts (SkMs) were isolated and expanded from newborn Lewis rats. Cells were transfected with pcDNA3-huSDF-1 and seeded on polyurethane (PU) scaffolds or diluted in medium for cell injection. Two weeks after myocardial infarction, seeded scaffolds were implanted epicardially into rats (group: PU-SDF-1-SkM) or the injection solution was applied intramyocardially (Inj-SDF-1-SkM). Additional groups were treated with non-transfected myoblasts either by injection (Inj-SkM) or by scaffold-based application (PU-SkM) or received a sham operation (Sham). Before this intervention and 6 weeks later, hemodynamic parameters were measured. Infarction size and neovascularization were assessed by histology at study end.
Results: In sham animals, we detected a clear decrease in systolic function from intervention to study end. In group Inj-SkM and PU-SkM, all hemodynamic parameters that were assessed remained unchanged during observation time. Systolic function as measured by dP/dt(max) and SB-Emax was significantly improved in groups Inj-SDF-1-SkM and PU-SDF-1-SkM at study end without a difference between the two SDF-1 groups. Diastolic function measured by post-interventional dP/dt(min) was also increased in group Inj-SDF-1-SkM but not in PU-SDF-1-SkM. Histological analysis revealed a reduced infarction size in all treatment groups at study end but enhanced neovascularization was not observable.
Conclusions: Transplantation of myoblasts overexpressing SDF-1 improves cardiac function after MI. The restoration of hemodynamic parameters is accompanied by a reduction in infarction size. This reverse remodeling capacity is independent of a scaffold-based application of the SDF-1-transfected cells.
Copyright © 2011 European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.