Cardiac mesenchymal cells from failing and nonfailing hearts limit ventricular dilation when administered late after infarction

Timothy N. Audam, Yibing Nong, Alex Tomlin, Andrea Jurkovic, Hong Li, Xiaoping Zhu, Bethany W. Long, Yi Wei Zheng, Tyler Weirick, Kenneth R. Brittian, Daniel W. Riggs, Anna Gumpert, Shizuka Uchida, Yiru Guo, Marcin Wysoczynski, Steven P. Jones*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Although cell therapy-mediated cardiac repair offers promise for treatment/management of heart failure, lack of fundamental understanding of how cell therapy works limits its translational potential. In particular, whether reparative cells from failing hearts differ from cells derived from nonfailing hearts remains unexplored. Here, we assessed differences between cardiac mesenchymal cells (CMC) derived from failing (HF) versus nonfailing (Sham) hearts and whether the source of donor cells (i.e., from HF vs. Sham) limits reparative capacity, particularly when administered late after infarction. To determine the impact of the donor source of CMCs, we characterized the transcriptional profile of CMCs isolated from sham (Sham-CMC) and failing (HF-CMC) hearts. RNA-seq analysis revealed unique transcriptional signatures in Sham-CMC and HF-CMC, suggesting that the donor source impacts CMC. To determine whether the donor source affects reparative potential, C57BL6/J female mice were subjected to 60 min of regional myocardial ischemia and then reperfused for 35 days. In a randomized, controlled, and blinded fashion, vehicle, HF-CMC, or Sham-CMC were injected into the lumen of the left ventricle at 35 days post-MI. An additional 5 weeks later, cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography, which indicated that delayed administration of Sham-CMC and HF-CMC attenuated ventricular dilation. We also determined whether Sham-CMC and HF-CMC treatments affected ventricular histopathology. Our data indicate that the donor source (nonfailing vs. failing hearts) affects certain aspects of CMC, and these insights may have implications for future studies. Our data indicate that delayed administration of CMC limits ventricular dilation and that the source of CMC may influence their reparative actions. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Most preclinical studies have used only cells from healthy, nonfailing hearts. Whether donor condition (i.e., heart failure) impacts cells used for cell therapy is not known. We directly tested whether donor condition impacted the reparative effects of cardiac mesenchymal cells in a chronic model of myocardial infarction. Although cells from failing hearts differed in multiple aspects, they retained the potential to limit ventricular remodeling.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)H109-H122
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac repair
  • Cell therapy
  • Fibrosis
  • Ventricular remodeling


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