Apelin-13 increases myocardial progenitor cells and improves repair postmyocardial infarction

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi.
AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology (Impact Factor: 3.84). 06/2012; 303(5):H605-18. DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.00366.2012
Source: PubMed


Apelin is an endogenous ligand for the angiotensin-like 1 receptor (APJ) and has beneficial effects against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury. Little is known about the role of apelin in the homing of vascular progenitor cells (PCs) and cardiac functional recovery postmyocardial infarction (post-MI). The present study investigated whether apelin affects PC homing to the infarcted myocardium, thereby mediating repair and functional recovery post-MI. Mice were infarcted by coronary artery ligation, and apelin-13 (1 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1)) was injected for 3 days before MI and for 14 days post-MI. Homing of vascular PCs [CD133(+)/c-Kit(+)/Sca1(+), CD133(+)/stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)-1α(+), and CD133(+)/CXC chemokine receptor (CXCR)-4(+)] into the ischemic area was examined. Myocardial Akt, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), VEGF, jagged1, notch3, SDF-1α, and CXCR-4 expression were assessed at 24 h and 14 days post-MI. Functional analyses were performed on day 14 post-MI. Mice that received apelin-13 treatment demonstrated upregulation of SDF-1α/CXCR-4 expression and dramatically increased the number of CD133(+)/c-Kit(+)/Sca1(+), CD133(+)/SDF-1α(+), and c-Kit(+)/CXCR-4(+) cells in infarcted hearts. Apelin-13 also significantly increased Akt and eNOS phosphorylation and upregulated VEGF, jagged1, and notch3 expression in ischemic hearts. This was accompanied by a significant reduction of myocardial apoptosis. Furthermore, treatment with apelin-13 promoted myocardial angiogenesis and attenuated cardiac fibrosis and hypertrophy together with a significant improvement of cardiac function at 14 days post-MI. Apelin-13 increases angiogenesis and improves cardiac repair post-MI by a mechanism involving the upregulation of SDF-1α/CXCR-4 and homing of vascular PCs.

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