In vitro cultured progenitors and precursors of cardiac cell lineages from human normal and post-ischemic hearts
AbstractThe demonstration of the presence of dividing primitive cells in damaged hearts has sparked increased interest about myocardium regenerative processes. We examined the rate and the differentiation of in vitro cultured resident cardiac primitive cells obtained from pathological and normal human hearts in order to evaluate the activation of progenitors and precursors of cardiac cell lineages in post-ischemic human hearts. The precursors and progenitors of cardiomyocyte, smooth muscle and endothelial lineage were identified by immunocytochemistry and the expression of characteristic markers was studied by western blot and RT-PCR. The amount of proteins characteristic for cardiac cells (a-SA and MHC, VEGFR-2 and FVIII, SMA for the precursors of cardiomyocytes, endothelial and smooth muscle cells, respectively) inclines toward an increase in both a-SA and MHC. The increased levels of FVIII and VEGFR2 are statistically significant, suggesting an important re-activation of neoangiogenesis. At the same time, the augmented expression of mRNA for Nkx 2.5, the trascriptional factor for cardiomyocyte differentiation, confirms the persistence of differentiative processes in terminally injured hearts. Our study would appear to confirm the activation of human heart regeneration potential in pathological conditions and the ability of its primitive cells to maintain their proliferative capability in vitro. The cardiac cell isolation method we used could be useful in the future for studying modifications to the microenvironment that positively influence cardiac primitive cell differentiation or inhibit, or retard, the pathological remodeling and functional degradation of the heart.
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Copyright (c) 2009 F Di Meglio, D Nurzynska, C Castaldo, A Arcucci, L De Santo, M de Feo, M Cotrufo, S Montagnani, G Giordano-Lanza
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