Abstract 160: Pim-1 Preserves Cardiac Stem Cell Proliferation with Age
Rationale Cardiac stem cells (CSC) regulate cardiomyogenesis and support regenerative processes in the heart, but aging adversely affects stem cell repair capacity. Aging is a primary cause of impaired cardiac function characterized by accumulation of senescent cells. CSC senescence is associated with permanent growth arrest that decreases survival signaling and cellular replacement, inevitably diminishing the capacity of the heart to maintain tissue homeostasis. Therefore, promoting CSC growth may improve cardiac performance with age. Pim-1 kinase exhibits protective and proliferative effects in the myocardium but the role of Pim-1 in cardiac aging has not been thoroughly studied.
Objective Demonstrate that Pim-1 promotes stem cell growth in the aged myocardium correlating with increased expression of centromere protein A (CENP-A), a kinetochore-associated protein known to support cell proliferation in numerous species and cell types.
Methods & Results CENP-A expression levels were evaluated from murine myocardial tissue samples ranging in age from 11 days post coitum to 4 months of age with analysis by immunoblot as well as quantitative PCR. CENP-A expression was colocalized with c-kit as a marker of CSC by immunohistochemical labeling, revealing a decline in CENP-A expression over the time course of postnatal myocardial maturation. The impact of Pim-1 upon CENP-A level was assessed by comparative analysis of non-transgenic mice versus genetically modified transgenic mouse lines expressing either Pim-1 (wild type) or a dominant negative functionally dead Pim-1 mutant. Pim-1 overexpression increases persistence of CENP-A in CSCs with age, as well as the prevalence of cycling CSCs as marked by phosph-H3 expression, while the functionally dead mutant accelerates CENP-A diminution and decreases CSC proliferation.
Conclusion CENP-A decline in c-kit positive cells with age provides intriguing evidence of a potential mechanism for the diminished capacity of CSCs to maintain tissue homeostasis. Pim-1 mitigates CENP-A diminution, demonstrating the promising potential of Pim-1 to promote cardiac growth and repair with age.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.