Implantation of mesenchymal stem cells overexpressing endothelial nitric oxide synthase improves right ventricular impairments caused by pulmonary hypertension

Sachiko Kanki-Horimoto, Hitoshi Horimoto, Shigetoshi Mieno, Kenji Kishida, Fusao Watanabe, Eisuke Furuya, Takahiro Katsumata
Circulation 2006 July 4, 114 (1): I181-5

BACKGROUND: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a life-threatening disease. Bone marrow cell transplantation is reported to reduce the development of PH by increasing vascular beds in pulmonary circulation. However, adenoviral overexpression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in the lung is also known to reduce PH. Because mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are potential cell sources for neovascularization, the implantation of MSCs overexpressing eNOS (MSCs/eNOS) may further improve the surgical results. We evaluated the efficacy of MSCs/eNOS implantation in monocrotaline (MCT)-induced PH rats.

METHODS AND RESULTS: MSCs were isolated from rat bone marrow. PH was induced in rats by subcutaneous injection of MCT. One week after MCT administration, the rats received 3 different treatments: MSCs (MSC group), MSCs/eNOS (MSC/eNOS group), or nontreatment (PH group). As the negative control, rats received saline instead of MCT (control group). Right ventricular (RV) hypertrophy and the elevation of RV systolic pressure (RVSP) were evaluated 3 weeks after MCT administration. Moreover, the effects of MSCs/eNOS on survival were investigated in PH induced by MCT 3 weeks earlier. RVSP in both the MSC and MSC/eNOS groups was significantly lower than the PH group. RVSP in the MSC/eNOS group was significantly lower than the MSC group. The RV weight to body weight ratio was significantly lower in the MSC and MSC/eNOS groups than the PH group. The survival time of rats receiving MSCs/eNOS was significantly longer than the nontreatment rats.

CONCLUSIONS: Intravenous implantation of MSCs/eNOS may offer ameliorating effects on PH-related RV impairment and survival time.

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