Prognosis of patients with heart failure remains poor despite improved conventional and interventional treatment regimens. The improvement of neovascularization and repair processes by administration of bone marrow-derived cells modestly improved the recovery after acute myocardial
infarction. However, circulating patient-derived cells are reduced in number and function particularly in chronic heart failure. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis whether the mobilization of circulating mononuclear proangiogenic cells (CPCs) by G-CSF may overcome some of these limitations.
In the present pilot study, 32 patients with at least 3-month-old myocardial infarction were randomized to G-CSF alone (G-CSF group) or intracoronary infusion of G-CSF-mobilized and cultured CPCs into the infarct-related artery (G-CSF/CPC group). Primary endpoint of the study was safety. Efficacy
parameters included serial assessment of LV function, NT-proBNP levels, and cardiopulmonary exercise testing. G-CSF effectively mobilized circulating CD34+CD45+ cells after 5 days in all patients (408 ± 64%) without serious adverse events. At 3 months, NYHA class
and global LV function did not show significant improvements in both treatment groups (G-CSF: ΔLVEF 1.6 ± 2.4%; p = 0.10; G-CSF/CPC: ΔLVEF 1.4 ± 4.1%; p = 0.16). In contrast, target area contractility improved significantly in the G-CSF/CPC group. During
5-year follow-up, one patient died after rehospitalization for worsening heart failure. Eleven patients underwent further revascularization procedures. NT-proBNP levels, cardiopulmonary exercise capacity, and NYHA class remained stable in both treatment groups. The results from our pilot trial
indicate that administration of G-CSF alone or G-CSF-mobilized and cultured CPCs can be performed safely in patients with chronic ischemic heart disease. However, only minor effects on LV function, NT-proBNP levels, and NYHA classification were observed during follow-up, suggesting that the
enhancement of CPCs by G-CSF alone does not substantially improve intracoronary cell therapy effects in patients with chronic ischemic heart failure.
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.