Background: Stem cell therapy is a promising treatment modality for injured cardiac tissue. A novel mechanism for this cardioprotection may include paracrine actions. Our lab has recently shown that gender differences exist in mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) paracrine function. Estrogen is implicated in the cardioprotection found in females. It remains unknown whether 17β-estradiol (E2) affects MSC paracrine function and whether E2-treated MSCs may better protect injured cardiac tissue. We hypothesize that E2-exposed MSCs infused into hearts prior to ischemia may demonstrate increased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production and greater protection of myocardial function compared to untreated MSCs. Materials and methods: Untreated and E2-treated MSCs were isolated, cultured, and plated and supernatants were harvested for VEGF assay (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). Adult male Sprague-Dawley rat hearts (n = 13) were isolated and perfused via Langendorff model and subjected to 15 min equilibration, 25 min warm global ischemia, and 40 min reperfusion. Hearts were randomly assigned to perfusate vehicle, untreated male MSC, or E2-treated male MSC. Transcoronary delivery of 1 million MSCs was performed immediately prior to ischemia in experimental hearts. Results: E2-treated MSCs provoked significantly more VEGF production than untreated MSCs (933.2 ± 64.9 versus 595.8 ± 10.7 pg/mL). Postischemic recovery of left ventricular developed pressure was significantly greater in hearts infused with E2-treated MSCs (66.9 ± 3.3%) than untreated MSCs (48.7 ± 3.7%) and vehicle (28.9 ± 4.6%) at end reperfusion. There was also greater recovery of the end diastolic pressure with E2-treated MSCs than untreated MSCs and vehicle. Conclusions: Preischemic infusion of MSCs protects myocardial function and viability. E2-treated MSCs may enhance this paracrine protection, which suggests that ex vivo modification of MSCs may improve therapeutic outcome.
- sex hormones
ASJC Scopus subject areas