S1P–S1PR2 Axis Mediates Homing of Muse Cells Into Damaged Heart for Long-Lasting Tissue Repair and Functional Recovery After Acute Myocardial Infarction

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Abstract

Rationale:

Multilineage-differentiating stress enduring (Muse) cells, pluripotent marker stage-specific embryonic antigen-3+ cells, are nontumorigenic endogenous pluripotent-like stem cells obtainable from various tissues including the bone marrow. Their therapeutic efficiency has not been validated in acute myocardial infarction.

Objective:

The main objective of this study is to clarify the efficiency of intravenously infused rabbit autograft, allograft, and xenograft (human) bone marrow-Muse cells in a rabbit acute myocardial infarction model and their mechanisms of tissue repair.

Methods and Results:

In vivo dynamics of Nano-lantern–labeled Muse cells showed preferential homing of the cells to the postinfarct heart at 3 days and 2 weeks, with ≈14.5% of injected GFP (green fluorescent protein)-Muse cells estimated to be engrafted into the heart at 3 days. The migration and homing of the Muse cells was confirmed pharmacologically (S1PR2 [sphingosine monophosphate receptor 2]–specific antagonist JTE-013 coinjection) and genetically (S1PR2-siRNA [small interfering ribonucleic acid]–introduced Muse cells) to be mediated through the S1P (sphingosine monophosphate)–S1PR2 axis. They spontaneously differentiated into cells positive for cardiac markers, such as cardiac troponin-I, sarcomeric α-actinin, and connexin-43, and vascular markers. GCaMP3 (GFP-based Ca calmodulin probe)-labeled Muse cells that engrafted into the ischemic region exhibited increased GCaMP3 fluorescence during systole and decreased fluorescence during diastole. Infarct size was reduced by ≈52%, and the ejection fraction was increased by ≈38% compared with vehicle injection at 2 months, ≈2.5 and ≈2.1 times higher, respectively, than that induced by mesenchymal stem cells. These effects were partially attenuated by the administration of GATA4-gene–silenced Muse cells. Muse cell allografts and xenografts efficiently engrafted and recovered functions, and allografts remained in the tissue and sustained functional recovery for up to 6 months without immunosuppression.

Conclusions:

Muse cells may provide reparative effects and robust functional recovery and may, thus, provide a novel strategy for the treatment of acute myocardial infarction.

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