Background Extracellular matrix, especially laminin-221, may play crucial roles in viability and survival of human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPS-CMs) after in vivo transplant. Then, we hypothesized laminin-221 may have an adjuvant effect on therapeutic efficacy by enhancing cell viability and survival after transplantation of 3-dimensional engineered cardiac tissue (ECT) to a rat model of myocardial infarction. Methods and Results In vitro study indicates the impacts of laminin-221 on hiPS-CMs were analyzed on the basis of mechanical function, mitochondrial function, and tolerance to hypoxia. We constructed 3-dimensional ECT containing hiPS-CMs and fibrin gel conjugated with laminin-221. Heart function and in vivo behavior were assessed after engraftment of 3-dimensional ECT (laminin-conjugated ECT, n=10; ECT, n=10; control, n=10) in a rat model of myocardial infarction. In vitro assessment indicated that laminin-221 improves systolic velocity, diastolic velocity, and maximum capacity of oxidative metabolism of hiPS-CMs. Cell viability and lactate dehydrogenase production revealed that laminin-221 improved tolerance to hypoxia. Furthermore, analysis of mRNA expression revealed that antiapoptotic genes were upregulated in the laminin group under hypoxic conditions. Left ventricular ejection fraction of the laminin-conjugated ECT group was significantly better than that of other groups 4 weeks after transplantation. Laminin-conjugated ECT transplantation was associated with significant improvements in expression levels of rat vascular endothelial growth factor. In early assessments, cell survival was also improved in laminin-conjugated ECTs compared with ECT transplantation without laminin-221. Conclusions In vitro laminin-221 enhanced mechanical and metabolic function of hiPS-CMs and improved the therapeutic impact of 3-dimensional ECT in a rat ischemic cardiomyopathy model. These findings suggest that adjuvant laminin-221 may provide a clinical benefit to hiPS-CM constructs.
Keywords: 3‐dimensional engineered cardiac tissue; heart failure; human‐induced pluripotent stem cells; laminin‐221; regenerative therapy.