Proangiogenic effects of mobilized bone marrow–derived stem/progenitor cells are essential for cardiac repair after myocardial infarction. MicroRNAs (miRNA/miR) are key regulators of angiogenesis. We investigated the differential regulation of angio-miRs, that is, miRNAs regulating neovascularization, in mobilized CD34+ progenitor cells obtained from patients with an acute ST-segment–elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) as compared with those with stable coronary artery disease or healthy subjects.Approach and Results—
CD34+ progenitor cells were isolated from patients with STEMI (on day 0 and day 5), stable coronary artery disease, and healthy subjects (n=27). CD34+ progenitor cells of patients with STEMI exhibited increased proangiogenic activity as compared with CD34+ cells from the other groups. Using a polymerase chain reaction–based miRNA-array and real-time polymerase chain reaction validation, we identified a profound upregulation of 2 known angio-miRs, that are, miR-378 and let-7b, in CD34+ cells of patients with STEMI. Especially, we demonstrate that miR-378 is a critical regulator of the proangiogenic capacity of CD34+ progenitor cells and its stimulatory effects on endothelial cells in vitro and in vivo, whereas let-7b upregulation in CD34+ cells failed to proof its effect on endothelial cells in vivo.Conclusions—
The present study demonstrates a significant upregulation of the angio-miRs miR-378 and let-7b in mobilized CD34+ progenitor cells of patients with STEMI. The increased proangiogenic activity of these cells in patients with STEMI and the observation that in particular miR-378 regulates the angiogenic capacity of CD34+ progenitor cells in vivo suggest that this unique miRNA expression pattern represents a novel endogenous repair mechanism activated in acute myocardial infarction.