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Embryonic Stem Cells Attenuate Viral Myocarditis in Murine Model

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We used mice to test our hypothesis that in response to viral invasion, stem cells may migrate into the heart and attenuate the effect of viral myocarditis. Male BALB/c mice were divided into three groups: mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell control, encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV), and EMCV + ES cells. After administration of ES cells via tail vein, mice were immediately inoculated with EMCV. Mice were sacrificed at different days after EMCV inoculation. Mortality was recorded. Inflammatory cell infiltration and necrosis (major pathological changes of viral myocarditis) were evaluated by hematoxylin-eosin staining. ES cell migration and differentiation were identified by immunofluorescence. The survival rate in the EMCV + ES cell group (80%) was significantly increased (p < 0.05) over the EMCV-alone group (64%). Also, the incidence of inflammatory cell infiltration and myocardial lesions was lower in the EMCV + ES cell mice. Furthermore, the result of green fluorescent protein (GFP) and α-actinin analysis indicated that ES cells migrated into the heart and differentiated into myocytes after virus inoculation. In conclusion, ES cells significantly increased the survival of viral myocarditis mice and also decreased the necrosis and infiltration of inflammatory cells. These results demonstrated the ability of stem cells to mitigate the effects of viral infection on the heart and illustrated their potential therapeutic application to other mammalian species, including humans.

Keywords: Key words: Myocarditis; Embryonic stem cells; Mous

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: *Cardiovascular Division, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215 2: †Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine, University of Louisville, Kentucky, KY 40202

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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