A novel sub-population of bone marrow-derived myocardial stem cells: Potential autologous cell therapy in myocardial infarction

Harmik J. Soukiasian, Lawrence S.C. Czer, Itzhak Avital, Takeshi Aoki, Yong Hwan Kim, Yutaka Umehara, Jennifer Pass, Robert Tabrizi, Kathy Magliato, Gregory P. Fontana, Wen Cheng, Achilles A. Demetriou, Alfredo Trento

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background Several studies have identified beta2-microglobulin-negative (β2M -) cells as a potential stem cell fraction in the bone marrow of rats and humans. We studied the ability of bone marrow-derived β2M - cells to differentiate into cardiomyocytes and reconstitute the myocardium in a model of myocardial infarction. Methods β2M - cells were purified from bone marrow of Lewis rats using a magnetic activated cell-sorting technique. β2M - cells, 2.5 × 10 6 cells in 100 μl of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), were transplanted 7 days after infarction into a transmural myocardial scar induced by cryoinjury in Lewis rats (n = 9). Control Group 1(n = 10) received a 100-μl injection of PBS, and Control Group 2 (n = 15) received no injection. The β2M - cells were labeled before transplantation, using the membrane fluorescent intercalated dye, PKH26. Repopulation was examined at 6 and 8 weeks after transplantation. Differentiation of β2M - cells into cardiac myocytes was determined by the colocalization of troponin and PKH26 to the same cell, utilizing immunohistochemistry, ultraviolet photomicroscopy and fluorescence microscopy on 6-μm serial sections. Area of engraftment within the scar was calculated by planimetry. Results The treatment group had multiple islands of de novo-formed myocardium within the fibrous matrix of the transmural scar (mean area 35 ± 4.2% of scar area at 6 and 8 weeks). These cells colocalized cardiac-specific troponin and PKH26. Using these techniques, no myocardial islands were seen in the control groups. Before transplantation, β2M - cells were troponin-negative. Conclusions This study demonstrates that β2M - cells represent a novel sub-population of bone marrow-derived stem cells capable of successful and substantial engraftment in areas of transmural myocardial scar, with de novo formation of cardiac myocytes. The functional significance of this observation is being studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-880
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Transplantation


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