Proliferation, differentiation and migration of SCA1−/CD31− cardiac side population cells in vitro and in vivo

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Journal Article
International Journal of Cardiology, 2017, 227 pp. 378 - 386
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© 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd Background Side-population (SP) cells, identified by their capacity to efflux Hoechst dye, are highly enriched for stem/progenitor cell activity. They are found in many mammalian tissues, including mouse heart. Studies suggest that cardiac SP (CSP) cells can be divided into SCA1+/CD31−, SCA1+/CD31+and SCA1−/CD31−CSP subpopulations. SCA1+/CD31−were shown to be cardiac and endothelial stem/progenitors while SCA1+/CD31+CSP cells are endothelial progenitors. SCA1−/CD31−CSP cells remain to be fully characterized. In this study, we characterized SCA1−/CD31−CSP cells in the adult mouse heart, and investigated their abilities to proliferate, differentiate and migrate in vitro and in vivo. Methods and results Using fluorescence-activated cell sorting, reverse transcriptase/polymerase chain reaction, assays of cell proliferation, differentiation and migration, and a murine model of myocardial infarction we show that SCA1−/CD31−CSP cells are located in the heart mesenchyme and express genes characteristic of stem cells and endothelial progenitors. These cells were capable of proliferation, differentiation, migration and vascularization in vitro and in vivo. Following experimental myocardial infarction, the SCA1−/CD31−CSP cells migrated from non-infarcted areas to the infarcted region within the myocardium where they differentiated into endothelial cells forming vascular (tube-like) structures. We further demonstrated that the SDF-1α/CXCR4 pathway may play an important role in migration of these cells after myocardial infarction. Conclusions Based on their gene expression profile, localization and ability to proliferate, differentiate, migrate and vascularize in vitro and in vivo, we conclude that SCA1−/CD31−CSP cells may serve as endothelial progenitor cells in the adult mouse heart.
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