Abstract 41: Explant-Derived Cells from Chronic Heart Failure Activated Endothelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Attenuated Pluripotency Genes Expression
Cardiac progenitor cells are generated from atria explants; however the cellular origin and the mechanisms of cell outgrowth are unclear. Using transgenic tamoxifen-induced Willms tumor 1 (Wt1)-Cre/ERT and Cre-activated GFP reporter mice, we found approximately 40% of explant-derived cells and 74% of explant-derived c-Kit+ cells originated from the epicardium. In atria from sham hearts, Wt1+ cells were located in a thin epicardial layer, while c-Kit+ cells were primarily found within both the sub-epicardium and the myocardium, albeit at low frequency. No overlap between c-Kit+ and Wt1+ cells was observed, suggesting that epicardial Wt1+ cells do not express c-Kit marker in vivo, but more likely the c-Kit marker was acquired in culture. Compared with 4 days in culture, at day 21 we observed 7 folds increase in Snail gene expression; 32% increase in α-smooth muscle actin (SMA) marker, and 30% decrease in E-cadherin marker, suggesting that the explant-derived cells underwent epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in vitro. Cell outgrowths released TGF-β (1036.4 ± 1.18 pm/ml) and exhibited active TGF-β signaling, which might triggered the EMT. Compared to shams, CHF cell outgrowths exhibited elevated levels of EMT markers, SMA (49% vs. 34%) and Snail (2 folds), and reduced level of Wt1 (11% vs. 22%). In addition, CHF cell outgrowths had two folds increase in Pai1 gene expression, a direct target of TGF-β signaling. In c-Kit+ cells derived from CHF explants, Nanog gene expression was 4 folds lower and Sox 2 was 2 folds lower compared with cells from shams. Suppression of EMT in cell outgrowth increased the percentage of c-Kit+ and Wt1+ cells by 17%, and 15%, respectively. Also suppression of EMT in c-Kit+ cells resulted in 4 folds increase in Nanog and 3 fold increase in Sox2 gene expressions. Our results showed that CHF may further exuberates EMT while diminishes the re-activation of pluripotency genes. Thus, EMT modulation in CHF is a possible strategy to regulate both the yield and the pluripotency of cardiac-explant-derived progenitor cells.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.