Human cardiac progenitor cell activation and regeneration mechanisms: exploring a novel myocardial ischemia/reperfusion in vitro model

Maria J. Sebastiao, Margarida Serra, Rute Pereira, Itziar Palacios, Patricia Gomes-Alves, Paula M. Alves

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Abstract

Background: Numerous studies from different labs around the world report human cardiac progenitor cells (hCPCs) as having a role in myocardial repair upon ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, mainly through auto/paracrine signaling. Even though these cell populations are already being investigated in cell transplantation-based clinical trials, the mechanisms underlying their response are still poorly understood. Methods: To further investigate hCPC regenerative process, we established the first in vitro human heterotypic model of myocardial I/R injury using hCPCs and human-induced pluripotent cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). The co-culture model was established using transwell inserts and evaluated in both ischemia and reperfusion phases regarding secretion of key cytokines, hiPSC-CM viability, and hCPC proliferation. hCPC proteome in response to I/R was further characterized using advanced liquid chromatography mass spectrometry tools. Results: This model recapitulates hallmarks of I/R, namely hiPSC-CM death upon insult, protective effect of hCPCs on hiPSC-CM viability (37.6% higher vs hiPSC-CM mono-culture), and hCPC proliferation (approximately threefold increase vs hCPCs mono-culture), emphasizing the importance of paracrine communication between these two populations. In particular, in co-culture supernatant upon injury, we report higher angiogenic functionality as well as a significant increase in the CXCL6 secretion rate, suggesting an important role of this chemokine in myocardial regeneration. hCPC whole proteome analysis allowed us to propose new pathways in the hCPC-mediated regenerative process, including cell cycle regulation, proliferation through EGF signaling, and reactive oxygen species detoxification. Conclusion: This work contributes with new insights into hCPC biology in response to I/R, and the model established constitutes an important tool to study the molecular mechanisms involved in the myocardial regenerative process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number77
JournalSTEM CELL RESEARCH THERAPY
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Cardiac progenitor cells
  • myocardial infarction
  • Myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury
  • Proteomics
  • Ischemia-reperfusion injury

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