Isolation and characterization of CD276+/HLA-E+ human subendocardial mesenchymal stem cells from chronic heart failure patients: Analysis of differentiative potential and immunomodulatory markers expression

Rita Anzalone, Simona Corrao, Melania Lo Iacono, Tiziana Loria, Tiziana Gorgun, Francesco Cappello, Antonino Di Stefano, Pantaleo Giannuzzi, Giovanni Zummo, Felicia Farina, Giampiero La Rocca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are virtually present in all postnatal organs as well as in perinatal tissues. MSCs can be differentiated toward several mature cytotypes and interestingly hold potentially relevant immunomodulatory features. Myocardial infarction results in severe tissue damage, cardiomyocyte loss, and eventually heart failure. Cellular cardiomyoplasty represents a promising approach for myocardial repair. Clinical trials using MSCs are underway for a number of heart diseases, even if their outcomes are hampered by low long-term improvements and the possible presence of complications related to cellular therapy administration. Therefore, elucidating the presence and role of MSCs that reside in the post-infarct human heart should provide essential alternatives for therapy. In the current article we show a novel method to reproducibly isolate and culture MSCs from the subendocardial zone of human left ventricle from patients undergoing heart transplant for post-infarct chronic heart failure (HSE-MSCs, human subendocardial mesenchymal stem cells). By using both immunocytochemistry and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), we demonstrated that these cells do express key MSCs markers and do express heart-specific transcription factors in their undifferentiated state, while lacking strictly cardiomyocyte-specific proteins. Moreover, these cells do express immunomodulatory molecules that should disclose their further potential in immune modulation processes in the post-infarct microenvironment. Another novel datum of potentially relevant interest is the expression of cardiac myosin heavy chain at nucclear level in HSE-MSCs. Standard MSCs trilineage differentiation experiments were also performed. The present paper adds new data on the basic biological features of heart-resident MSCs that populate the organ following myocardial infarction. The use of heart-derived MSCs to promote in-organ repair or as a cellular source for cardiomyoplasty is a fascinating and challenging task, which deserves further research efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalStem Cells and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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