ABSTRACT: Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) are being administered by direct intramyocardial (IM) injection into patients with myocardial dysfunction with an objective to improve clinical status. However, surprisingly little attention has been directed to qualifying hMSC functionality beyond simple viability. In particular, the transit of hMSCs through a small-caliber needle lumen, the final fluidic pathway for all IM injection devices, may be especially prone to inducing unwarranted effects on cell function. This study evaluated the changes in clonogenicity, gene expression, and cytokine secretion that may be induced in hMSC (20 million/ml) by injection through a 26-gauge Nitinol needle at two different flow rates compared to noninjected control samples. Results indicated that hMSC viability and colony forming unit (CFU) formation was not altered by changes in injection rate, although a trend toward lower titers was noted at the higher flow rate, for the specific batch of hMSCs studied. The gene expression and cytokine analysis data suggest that delivering a suspension of MSCs through narrow lumen needles may marginally alter certain gene expression programs, but that such in vitro effects are transient and not translated into measurable differences in protein production. Gene expression levels of four cytokines (bFGF, SDF-1, SCF, VEGF) were significantly different at 400 microl/min, and that of all cytokines were significantly different at 1600 microl/min when compared to controls (p < 0.05). These changes were less pronounced (statistically insignificant for most cases, p > 0.05) and, in certain instances directionally opposite, at 72 h. However, no differences in the amounts of secreted bFGF, VEGF, or TGF-beta were detectable at either of the two time points or flow rates. We infer that intramyocardial administration by transcatheter techniques is unlikely to interfere with the machinery required for cell replication or secretion of regulatory and other growth factors, which are the mainstays of MSC contribution to cardiac tissue repair and regeneration.
Cell Transplantation 07/2009; 18(10):1111-21. · 5.13 Impact Factor