Transplantation of adipose-derived stem cells combined with neuregulin-microparticles promotes efficient cardiac repair in a rat myocardial infarction model
Díaz-Herráez P (1), Saludas L (1), Pascual-Gil S (1), Simón-Yarza T (2), Abizanda G (3), Prósper F (3), Garbayo E (4), Blanco-Prieto MJ (5)
Tissue engineering is a promising strategy to promote heart regeneration after a myocardial infarction (MI). In this study, we investigated the reparative potential of a system that combines adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) with microparticles (MPs) loaded with neuregulin (NRG), named ADSC-NRG-MPs, on a rat MI model.
First, cells were attached to the surface of MPs encapsulating NRG and coated with a 1:1 mixture of collagen and poly-d-lysine. One week after in vivo administration, the system favored the shift of macrophage expression from a pro-inflammatory to a regenerative phenotype.
At long-term, the adhesion of ADSCs to MPs resulted in an increased cell engraftment, with cells being detectable in the tissue up to three months. In consonance, better tissue repair was observed in the animals treated with cells attached to MPs, which presented thicker left ventricles than the animals treated with ADSCs alone.
Moreover, the presence of NRG in the system promoted a more complete regeneration, reducing the infarct size and stimulating cardiomyocyte proliferation. Regarding vasculogenesis, the presence of ADSCs and NRG-MPs alone stimulated vessel formation when compared to the control group, but the combination of both induced the largest vasculogenic effect, promoting the formation of both arterioles and capillaries. Importantly, only when ADSCs were administered adhered to MPs, they were incorporated into newly formed vessels.
Collectively, these findings demonstrate that the combination of ADSCs, MPs and NRG favored a synergy for inducing a greater and more complete improvement in heart regeneration and provided strong evidence to move forward with preclinical studies with this strategy.