Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy for myocardial injury has inherent limitations due to the poor viability of MSCs after cell transplantation. In this study, we directly delivered Hsp70, a protein with protective functions against stress, into MSCs, using the Hph-1 protein transduction domain ex vivo for high transfection efficiency and low cytotoxicity. Compared to control MSCs in in vitro hypoxic conditions, MSCs delivered with Hph-1-Hsp70 (Hph-1-Hsp70-MSCs) displayed higher viability and anti-apoptotic properties, including Bcl2 increase, reduction of Bax, JNK phosphorylation and caspase-3 activity. Hsp70 delivery also attenuated cellular ATP-depleting stress. Eight animals per group were used for in vivo experiments after occlusion of the left coronary artery. Transplantation of Hph-1-Hsp70-MSCs led to a decrease in the fibrotic heart area, and significantly reduced the apoptotic positive index by 19.5 ± 2%, compared to no-treatment controls. Hph-1-Hsp70-MSCs were well-integrated into the infarcted host myocardium. The mean microvessel count per field in the infarcted myocardium of the Hph-1-Hsp70-MSC-treated group (122.1 ± 13.5) increased relative to the MSC-treated group (75.9 ± 10.4). By echocardiography, transplantation of Hph-1-Hsp70-MSCs resulted in additional increases in heart function, compared to theMSCs-transplanted group. Our results may help formulate better clinical strategies for in vivo MSC cell therapy for myocardial damage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology