Improved mesenchymal stem cell survival in ischemic heart through electroacupuncture
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To investigate whether electroacupuncture (EA) can promote cell survival and enhance heart function of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) therapy.
MSCs were isolated from bone marrow and expanded in Minimum Essential Medium Alpha (α-MEM). MI was induced in 72 Sprague-Dawley (S-D) rats by ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) for 30 min and reperfusion. MI rats randomly received injection of 1×106 DiI-labeled MSCs alone (n =24, MSC group), or plus electroacupuncture (EA) at Neiguan (PC6, n=24, EA+MSC group), or saline (n =24, saline group). EA treatment was performed for 4 days. Another 24 rats were subjected to chest-open surgery without LAD occlusion and treatment (sham group). Three time points, 4, 14 and 28 days (n =8 for each group) were included in this study. The survival of transplanted MSCs and the protective gene expression were analyzed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot at day 4 and 14. Left ventricular remodeling, cardiac function, infarction area, fibrosis and capillary density were analyzed at day 28.
EA can enhance MSC survival (2.6-fold up) at day 4. Big capillary density was 53% higher in EA+MSC treated group than MSC alone group. Furthermore, the rats treated by EA reduced the fibrosis and had 36% smaller infarct size comparing to MSC alone. EA also attenuated left ventricular remodeling and enhanced the functional recovery of infarcted hearts at week 4.
EA at Neiguan acupoint can promote the stem cell survival and improve ischemic heart function. EA could become a useful approach in stem cell therapy for ischemia heart diseases.
Keywordselectroacupuncture Neiguan (PC6) mesenchymal stem cell myocardial ischemia apoptosis
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