G-CSF treatment after myocardial infarction: impact on bone marrow-derived vs cardiac progenitor cells

Stefan Brunner, Bruno C Huber, Rebekka Fischer, Michael Groebner, Marcus Hacker, Robert David, Marc-Michael Zaruba, Marcus Vallaster, Christoph Rischpler, Andrea Wilke, Armin Gerbitz, Wolfgang-Michael Franz
Experimental Hematology 2008, 36 (6): 695-702

OBJECTIVE: Besides its classical function in the field of autologous and allogenic stem cell transplantation, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) was shown to have protective effects after myocardial infarction (MI) by mobilization of bone marrow-derived progenitor cells (BMCs) and in addition by activation of multiple signaling pathways. In the present study, we focused on the impact of G-CSF on migration of BMCs and the impact on resident cardiac cells after MI.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Mice (C57BL/6J) were sublethally irradiated, and BM from green fluorescent protein (GFP)-transgenic mice was transplanted. Coronary artery ligation was performed 10 weeks later. G-CSF (100 microg/kg) was daily injected for 6 days. Subpopulations of enhanced GFP(+) cells in peripheral blood, bone marrow, and heart were characterized by flow cytometry. Growth factor expression in the heart was analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Perfusion was investigated in vivo by gated single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).

RESULTS: G-CSF-treated animals revealed a reduced migration of c-kit(+) and CXCR-4(+) BMCs associated with decreased expression levels of the corresponding growth factors, namely stem cell factor and stromal-derived factor-1 alpha in ischemic myocardium. In contrast, the number of resident cardiac Sca-1(+) cells was significantly increased. However, SPECT-perfusion showed no differences in infarct size between G-CSF-treated and control animals 6 days after MI.

CONCLUSION: Our study shows that G-CSF treatment after MI reduces migration capacity of BMCs into ischemic tissue, but increases the number of resident cardiac cells. To optimize homing capacity a combination of G-CSF with other agents may optimize cytokine therapy after MI.

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