Objective:The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of collagen composition on engraftment of progenitor cells within infarcted myocardium.Background:We previously reported that intramyocardial penetration of stem/progenitor cells in epicardial patches was enhanced when collagen was reduced in hearts overexpressing adenylyl cyclase-6 (AC6). In this study we hypothesized an alternative strategy wherein overexpression of microRNA-29b (miR-29b), inhibiting mRNAs that encode cardiac fibroblast proteins involved in fibrosis, would similarly facilitate progenitor cell migration into infarcted rat myocardium.Methods:In vitro: A tri-cell patch (Tri-P) consisting of cardiac sodium-calcium exchanger-1 (NCX1) positive iPSC (iPSCNCX1+), endothelial cells (EC), and mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) was created, co-cultured, and seeded on isolated peritoneum. The expression of fibrosis-related genes was analyzed in cardiac fibroblasts (CFb) by qPCR and Western blot. In vivo: Nude rat hearts were administered mimic miRNA-29b (miR-29b), miRNA-29b inhibitor (Anti-29b), or negative mimic (Ctrl) before creation of an ischemically induced regional myocardial infarction (MI). The Tri-P was placed over the infarcted region 7 days later. Angiomyogenesis was analyzed by micro-CT imaging and immunofluorescent staining. Echocardiography was performed weekly.Results:The number of green fluorescent protein positive (GFP+) cells, capillary density, and heart function were significantly increased in hearts overexpressing miR-29b as compared with Ctrl and Anti-29b groups. Conversely, down-regulation of miR-29b with anti-29b in vitro and in vivo induced interstitial fibrosis and cardiac remodeling.Conclusion:Overexpression of miR-29b significantly reduced scar formation after MI and facilitated iPSCNCX1+ penetration from the cell patch into the infarcted area, resulting in restoration of heart function after MI.
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