Fate of modular cardiac tissue constructs in a syngeneic rat model

J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2015 Nov;9(11):1247-58. doi: 10.1002/term.1724. Epub 2013 Mar 15.


Modular cardiac tissues developed both vascular and cardiac structures in vivo, provided that the host response was attenuated by omitting xenoproteins from the modules. Collagen gel modules (with Matrigel(TM)) containing cardiomyocytes (CMs) alone or CMs with surface-seeded endothelial cells (ECs; CM/EC modules) were injected into the peri-infarct zone of the heart in syngeneic Lewis rats. After 3 weeks, donor ECs developed into blood vessel-like structures that also contained erythrocytes. However, no donor CMs were found within the implant sites, presumably because host cells including macrophages and T cells infiltrated extensively into the injection sites. To lessen the host response, Matrigel was omitted from the matrix and the modules were rinsed with serum-free medium prior to implantation. Host cell infiltration was attenuated, resulting in a higher degree of vascularization with CM/EC modules than with CM modules without ECs. Most importantly, donor CMs matured into striated muscle-like structures in Matrigel-free implants.

Keywords: angiogenesis; cardiac tissue; endothelial cells; in vivo model; modular constructs; tissue remodelling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen / chemistry*
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free / chemistry
  • Drug Combinations
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology
  • Erythrocytes / cytology
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / chemistry
  • Implants, Experimental
  • Laminin / chemistry*
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic
  • Proteoglycans / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Rats, Transgenic
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Transplantation, Isogeneic


  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • Drug Combinations
  • Laminin
  • Proteoglycans
  • matrigel
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Collagen