Open Access Feasibility of Intracoronary GLP-1 Eluting CellBead™ Infusion in Acute Myocardial Infarction

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Cell therapy is a field of growing interest in the prevention of post acute myocardial infarction (AMI) heart failure. Stem cell retention upon local delivery to the heart, however, is still unsatisfactory. CellBeads were recently developed as a potential solution to this problem. CellBeads are 170-μm alginate microspheres that contain mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) genetically modified to express glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) supplementary to inherent paracrine factors. GLP-1 is an incretin hormone that has both antiapoptotic and cardioprotective effects. Transplanting CellBeads in the post-AMI heart might induce cardiomyocyte salvage and ultimately abrogate adverse cardiac remodeling. We aimed to investigate the feasibility of intracoronary infusion of CellBeads in a large animal model of AMI. Four pigs were used in a pilot study to assess the maximal safe dose of CellBeads. In the remaining 21 animals, an AMI was induced by balloon occlusion of the left circumflex coronary artery for 90 min. During reperfusion, 60,000 CellBeads (n = 11), control beads (n = 4), or lactated Ringers' (n = 6) were infused. Animals were sacrificed after 2 or 7 days, and the hearts were excised for histological analyses. Intracoronary infusion did not permanently affect coronary flow in any of the groups. Histological analysis revealed CellBeads containing viable MSCs up to 7 days. Viability and activity of the MSCs was confirmed by qPCR analysis that showed expression of recombinant GLP-1 and human genes after 2 and 7 days. CellBeads reduced inflammatory infiltration by 29% (p = 0.001). In addition, they decreased the extent of apoptosis by 25% (p = 0.001) after 2 days. We show that intracoronary infusion of 5 million encapsulated MSCs is safe and feasible. Also, several parameters indicate that the cells have paracrine effects, suggesting a potential therapeutic benefit of this new approach.

Keywords: Acute myocardial infarction (AMI); Cell therapy; Coronary intervention; GLP-1 CellBeads; Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1); Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Molecular Cardiology Laboratory, Thoraxcenter, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: March 1, 2013

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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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