Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells for post-myocardial infarction cardiac repair: microRNAs as novel regulators

J Cell Mol Med. 2012 Apr;16(4):657-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2011.01471.x.


Transplantation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is safe and may improve cardiac function and structural remodelling in patients following myocardial infarction (MI). Cardiovascular cell differentiation and paracrine effects to promote endogenous cardiac regeneration, neovascularization, anti-inflammation, anti-apoptosis, anti-remodelling and cardiac contractility, may contribute to MSC-based cardiac repair following MI. However, current evidence indicates that the efficacy of MSC transplantation was unsatisfactory, due to the poor viability and massive death of the engrafted MSCs in the infarcted myocardium. MicroRNAs are short endogenous, conserved, non-coding RNAs and important regulators involved in numerous facets of cardiac pathophysiologic processes. There is an obvious involvement of microRNAs in almost every facet of putative repair mechanisms of MSC-based therapy in MI, such as stem cell differentiation, neovascularization, apoptosis, cardiac remodelling, cardiac contractility and arrhythmias, and others. It is proposed that therapeutic modulation of individual cardiovascular microRNA of MSCs, either mimicking or antagonizing microRNA actions, will hopefully enhance MSC therapeutic efficacy. In addition, MSCs may be manipulated to enhance functional microRNA expression or to inhibit aberrant microRNA levels in a paracrine manner. We hypothesize that microRNAs may be used as novel regulators in MSC-based therapy in MI and MSC transplantation by microRNA regulation may represent promising therapeutic strategy for MI patients in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • MicroRNAs / physiology
  • MicroRNAs / therapeutic use*
  • Myocardial Infarction / pathology*
  • Myocardial Infarction / surgery
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*


  • MicroRNAs