Abstract 139: Using Cyclic Strain to Improve Cardiac Progenitor Cell Cooperation
Introduction: Cell therapies have grown in popularity for myocardial regeneration post-infarction, but still suffer from poor retention, maturation and integration of delivered cells. Mechanical strain has been shown to alter cell size, shape, adherence and gene expression in cardiac cells. As a more recently identified cell type, the effect of mechanical strain on cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) is unknown. This work aims to elucidate the role mechanical strain plays in CPC phenotype and if this response is matrix protein specific. We hypothesize that mechanical strain will improve CPC alignment and potential for connectivity.
Methods: To examine the role of mechanical strain on CPCs, CPCs were seeded on FlexCell plates in the presence of a naturally-derived cardiac extracellularmatrix (cECM), collagen I (COL) or no protein (TCP) and strained 0% (static) or 10% at 1 Hz for 24 hours in a BioFlex system. CPC elongation, alignment, and size were evaluated by rhodamine-phalloidin staining. Connexin-43 expression was measured by Western and normalized to GAPDH. Data were analyzed by two-way ANOVA and Bonferroni post-test.
Results: CPC area, independent of culture conditions, was 1020 ± 40 um2, corresponding to neonatal cardiomyocyte area. The aspect ratio (major/minor axis) of CPCs showed a trend for increased elongation with strain at (e.x. 2.0±0.2 for unstrained cECM compared to 2.7±0.1 for strained cECM; n=4, p>0.05). Static culture conditions, independent of matrix coating, showed 20±3% alignment of CPCs. Under strain, alignment increased to 30±2% on COL (n=4; p>0.05 for strained COL verus static COL) and 48±8% on cECM (n=4; p< 0.01 for strained cECM versus strained COL and p<0.001 for strained cECM verus static cECM). A fold change >2 for connexin-43 protein in strained versus static conditions, independent of matrix, was observed (n=2, p>0.05) and confirmed by immunocytochemistry.
Conclusion: This work suggests that mechanical strain alters CPC phenotype. Increased strain-induced alignment appears to be matrix dependent. In conclusion, these studies provide insight into the role of both mechanical forces and biochemical responses in the function of CPCs; which could lead to improved outcomes following cellular transplantation.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.