Abstract 1283: Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase Promotes Mesenchymal Stem Cell Migration Towards the Ischemic Myocardium
Background: Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) migrate from bone marrow towards the heart and contribute to cardiac repair post myocardial infarction. However, mechanisms by which MSCs migrate to the ischemic heart remain unclear. The present study investigated the role of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) on MSC migration towards the ischemic myocardium and whether stromal cell derived factor-1 (SDF-1) contributes to the eNOS-mediated MSC migration.
Methods and Results: MSCs were isolated from wild-type (WT) bone marrow and cultured in vitro for 3 generations. Coronary microvascular endothelial cells were isolated from adult mouse hearts and seeded on inserts for transendothelial migration assay. Neonatal cardiomyocytes were isolated from WT, eNOS−/− and eNOS transgenic (Tg) mice, cultured to subconfluence and subjected to 30 min of anoxia followed by 6 hours of reoxygenation (A/R). The conditioned medium was collected and served as a chemoattractant. MSC migration was significantly decreased in eNOS−/− compared to WT conditioned medium (9.8± 1.8% vs. 14.7±2.3%), but increased in eNOS-Tg conditioned medium (38.0±4.5%, P<0.05). SDF-1 protein secretion was significantly decreased in eNOS−/− but increased in eNOS-Tg conditioned medium. To examine MSC migration in vivo, WT, eNOS−/− or eNOS-Tg mice were subjected to myocardial ischemia for 45 min followed by 24 hrs of reperfusion (I/R). Immediately after reperfusion, GFP+ MSCs were administered via a tail vein. GFP+ cells in the ischemic region were significantly decreased in eNOS−/− compared to WT hearts (3.4±0.3 vs. 5.6±0.4 cell per mm2, P<0.05) but significantly increased in eNOS-Tg compared to WT (10.2±1.6 vs. 5.6±0.4 cell per mm2, P<0.05). Furthermore, SDF-1 mRNA and protein expression was increased in eNOS-Tg as compared to WT and eNOS−/− after myocardial I/R.
Conclusions: eNOS promotes MSC migration towards the ischemic myocardium. This is likely due to an upregulation of SDF-1.