Scaffold-based transplantation of akt1-overexpressing skeletal myoblasts: functional regeneration is associated with angiogenesis and reduced infarction size.
ABSTRACT Myoblast-based therapy can improve cardiac function after infarction and is conventionally performed by direct injection. A scaffold-based transfer could overcome injection-associated problems. In upgrading this approach we transplanted skeletal myoblasts (SkM) overexpressing the prosurvival gene Akt1. SkM were transfected with pcDNA3-huda-Akt1 and seeded on polyurethane scaffolds. These scaffolds were transplanted in rats 2 weeks after myocardial infarction. Hemodynamics were analyzed before therapy and 6 weeks later. Infarction size and capillary density were performed thereafter. Additional groups received injections of Akt1-transfected or untransfected myoblasts, scaffolds seeded with untransfected myoblasts, or sham operation. Deterioration of global systolic left ventricular function could be inhibited by all therapeutic approaches. In addition, transplantation of Akt1-transfected cells, either scaffold-based or injected, was superior with regard to systolic properties of the left ventricular wall. This effect was accompanied by smaller infarction sizes and angiogenesis. Scaffolds with untransfected myoblasts yielded also smaller infarctions than injections of untransfected myoblasts. Both Akt groups profited with regard to dP/dt(min). In contrast, other diastolic parameters pointed at impaired relaxation and stiffer myocardium especially in the Akt1-scaffold group. In conclusion, SkM overexpressing Akt1 can maintain myocardial function after infarction, reduce infarction size, and induce neovascularization. Scaffold-based cell transfer does not augment this reverse remodeling capacity.