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Open Access Ex Vivo Akt/HO-1 Gene Therapy to Human Endothelial Progenitor Cells Enhances Myocardial Infarction Recovery

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the overexpression of genes central to cell survival and angiogenesis to enhance the function of human late outgrowth endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and their utility for infarct recovery. Ischemic myocardial injury creates a hostile microenvironment, which is characterized by hypoxia, oxidative stress, and inflammation. The infarct microenvironment prevents adhesion, survival, and integration of cell transplants that promote neovascularization. EPCs are dysfunctional as a result of risk factors in cardiovascular patients. Protein kinase B (Akt) and heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1) are intracellular proteins that play an important role in angiogenesis and cell survival. Late outgrowth EPCs transduced ex vivo with Akt and HO-1 demonstrate improved adhesion to extracellular matrix, improved migration toward human cardiomyocytes, and an improved paracrine profile under stress. Enhanced late outgrowth EPCs reduce the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) burden both in vitro and in vivo, attenuating nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activity and promoting cell survival. Akt and HO-1 enhance late outgrowth EPC neovascularization, resulting in improved cardiac performance and reduced negative remodeling after myocardial infarction in nude mice. Alteration of the infarct microenvironment through gene modification of human late outgrowth EPCs enhances the function and integration of transplanted cells for restoration of cardiac function.

Keywords: Cardiac function; Cytokine; Extracellular matrix; Growth factor; Heart; Monocyte; Regeneration; Secretome; Stem cell; Vasculogenesis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Physiology, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada

Publication date: 2012-07-01

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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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