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Open Access Inhibiting Matrix Metalloproteinase by Cell-Based Timp-3 Gene Transfer Effectively Treats Acute and Chronic Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

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After a myocardial infarction (MI), an increase in the cardiac ratio of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) relative to their inhibitors (TIMPs) causes extracellular matrix modulation that leads to ventricular dilatation and congestive heart failure. Cell therapy can mitigate these effects. In this study, we tested whether increasing MMP inhibition via cell-based gene transfer of Timp-3 further preserved ventricular morphometry and cardiac function in a rat model of MI. We also measured the effect of treatment timing. We generated MI (coronary artery ligation) in adult rats. Three or 14 days later, we implanted medium (control) or vascular smooth muscle cells transfected with empty vector (VSMCs) or Timp-3 (C-TIMP-3) into the peri-infarct region (n = 15‐24/group). We assessed MMP-2 and -9 expression and activity, TIMP-3, and TNF-α expression, cell apoptosis, infarct size and thickness, ventricular morphometry, and cardiac function (by echocardiography). Relative to medium, VSMCs delivered at either time point significantly reduced cardiac expression and activity of MMP-2 and -9, reduced expression of TNF-α, and increased expression of TIMP-3. Cell therapy also reduced apoptosis and scar area, increased infarct thickness, preserved ventricular structure, and reduced functional loss. All these effects were augmented by C-TIMP-3 treatment. Survival and cardiac function were significantly greater when VSMCs or C-TIMP-3 were delivered at 3 (vs. 14) days after MI. Upregulating post-MI cardiac TIMP-3 expression via cell-based gene therapy contributed additional regulation of MMP, TIMP, and TNF-α levels, thereby boosting the structural and functional effects of VSMCs transplanted at 3 or 14 days after an MI in rats. Early treatment may be superior to late, though both are effective.

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Keywords: Cell-based gene therapy; Extracellular matrix remodeling; Myocardial infarction (MI); Tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMPs)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China

Publication date: 2012-05-01

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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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