Embryonic Stem Cells Attenuate Viral Myocarditis in Murine Model
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.
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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