Migration towards SDF-1 selects angiogenin-expressing bone marrow monocytes endowed with cardiac reparative activity in patients with previous myocardial infarction

Raimondo Ascione, Jonathan Rowlinson, Elisa Avolio, Rajesh Katare, Marco Meloni, Helen L Spencer, Giuseppe Mangialardi, Caroline Norris, Nicolle Kränkel, Gaia Spinetti, Costanza Emanueli, Paolo Madeddu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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INTRODUCTION: Chemokine-directed migration is crucial for homing of regenerative cells to the infarcted heart and correlates with outcomes of cell therapy trials. Hence, transplantation of chemokine-responsive bone marrow cells may be ideal for treatment of myocardial ischemia. To verify the therapeutic activity of bone marrow mononuclear cells (BM-MNCs) selected by in vitro migration towards the chemokine stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) in a mouse model of myocardial infarction (MI), we used BM-MNCs from patients with previous large MI recruited in the TransACT-1&2 cell therapy trials.

METHODS: Unfractioned BM-MNCs, SDF-1-responsive, and SDF-1-nonresponsive BM-MNCs isolated by patients recruited in the TransACT-1&2 cell therapy trials were tested in Matrigel assay to evaluate angiogenic potential. Secretome and antigenic profile were characterized by flow cytometry. Angiogenin expression was measured by RT-PCR. Cells groups were also intramyocardially injected in an in vivo model of MI (8-week-old immune deficient CD1-FOXN1(nu/nu) mice). Echocardiography and hemodynamic measurements were performed before and at 14 days post-MI. Arterioles and capillaries density, infiltration of inflammatory cells, interstitial fibrosis, and cardiomyocyte proliferation and apoptosis were assessed by immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS: In vitro migration enriched for monocytes, while CD34(+) and CD133(+) cells and T lymphocytes remained mainly confined in the non-migrated fraction. Unfractioned total BM-MNCs promoted angiogenesis on Matrigel more efficiently than migrated or non-migrated cells. In mice with induced MI, intramyocardial injection of unfractionated or migrated BM-MNCs was more effective in preserving cardiac contractility and pressure indexes than vehicle or non-migrated BM-MNCs. Moreover, unfractioned BM-MNCs enhanced neovascularization, whereas the migrated fraction was unique in reducing the infarct size and interstitial fibrosis. In vitro studies on isolated cardiomyocytes suggest participation of angiogenin, a secreted ribonuclease that inhibits protein translation under stress conditions, in promotion of cardiomyocyte survival by migrated BM-MNCs.

CONCLUSIONS: Transplantation of bone marrow cells helps post-MI healing through distinct actions on vascular cells and cardiomyocytes. In addition, the SDF-1-responsive fraction is enriched with angiogenin-expressing monocytes, which may improve cardiac recovery through activation of cardiomyocyte response to stress. Identification of factors linking migratory and therapeutic outcomes could help refine regenerative approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53
JournalStem Cell Research and Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2015


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