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Small molecule 2′-deoxycytidine differentiates human umbilical cord-derived MSCs into cardiac progenitors in vitro and their in vivo xeno-transplantation improves cardiac function

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ARTICLE DOWNLOAD

Small molecule 2′-deoxycytidine differentiates human umbilical cord-derived MSCs into cardiac progenitors in vitro and their in vivo xeno-transplantation improves cardiac function

10$

Syeda Roohina Ali, Waqas Ahmad, Nadia Naeem, Asmat Salim & Irfan Khan 

Abstract

Small molecules are widely used to induce stem cell differentiation. 2′-deoxycytidine (2-DC) belongs to the cytidine family. It stimulates the expression of cardiac-specific genes and proteins, and directs mesenchymal stem cells towards cardiomyogenic differentiation. We aim to investigate the role of 2-DC-treated human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) into myogenic lineage and explore their application in regeneration of infarcted myocardium. UC-MSCs were treated with 5, 10, 20, and 40 µM 2-DC following optimization by cytotoxicity analysis. Rat model of myocardial infarction (MI) was induced by ligating left anterior descending coronary artery. Normal, and 2-DC treated UC-MSCs were transplanted in the left ventricular wall immediately after ligation. Echocardiographic measurements were performed to assess cardiac function. Tissue architecture of the myocardium was examined by histological analysis to determine fate of the transplanted cells. MSCs were successfully isolated from human umbilical cord tissue. 2-DC treatment did not produce any significant cytotoxic effect in UC-MSCs at all concentrations. qPCR analysis of treated UC-MSCs showed induction of myogenic differentiation, which is more pronounced at 20 μM concentration. Fluorescently labeled 2-DC-treated UC-MSCs showed significant (**P < 0.01) homing in the infarcted myocardium as compared to normal UC-MSCs. Hearts transplanted with 2-DC-treated UC-MSCs significantly (***P < 0.001) improved the cardiac systolic and diastolic functions and pumping ability as compared to normal UC-MSCs and MI groups. Fibrotic area and left ventricular wall thickness were significantly improved (***P < 0.001) in 2-DC-treated group as compared to normal UC-MSCs. Immunohistochemical staining showed co-localization of fluorescently labeled cells and patches of differentiated myocytes which were stained for cardiac proteins in the infarct zone implying that the treated UC-MSCs regenerated cardiomyocytes. We report for the first time that 2-DC induces cardiac differentiation in UC-MSCs. Transplanted cells differentiated into functional cardiomyocytes and significantly improved cardiac performance. These pre-differentiated cardiac progenitors showed better survival, homing, and distribution in the infarcted zone. 2-DC treated cells not only improved cardiac function, but also restored tissue homeostasis, suggesting a better therapeutic option for the regeneration of cardiac tissue in the clinical setup.

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Year 2020
Language English
Format PDF
DOI 10.1007/s11010-020-03750-6