Abstract 206: Accumulation of Mitochondrial DNA Mutations Impairs Survival, Proliferation, and Differentiation of Cardiac Progenitor Cells
Activation and participation of cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) in regeneration are critical for effective repair in the wake of pathologic injury. Stem cell activation and commitment involve increased energy demand and mitochondrial biogenesis. To date, little attention has been paid to the importance of mitochondria in CPC survival, proliferation and differentiation. CPC function is reduced with age but the underlying mechanism is still unclear. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is more susceptible to oxidative attacks than nuclear DNA due to its proximity to the mitochondrial respiratory chain and lack of protective histone-like proteins. With age, mtDNA accumulates mutations that can impair mitochondrial respiration and increase ROS production. In this study, we examined the effects of accumulating mtDNA mutations on CPC proliferation and survival. We have found that incubation of uncommitted c-kit+ CPCs in differentiation medium increased mitochondrial mass and expansion of the mitochondrial network, which correlated with increased cell size and expression of cardiac lineage commitment markers. Differentiation activated mitochondrial biogenesis, increased mtDNA copy number, and enhanced oxidative capacity and cellular ATP levels in CPCs. To investigate the effect of mtDNA mutations and aging on CPC survival and function, we utilized a mouse model in which a mutation in the mtDNA polymerase γ (POLGm/m) leads to accumulation of mtDNA mutations, mitochondrial dysfunction, and accelerated aging. Isolated CPCs from hearts of 2-month old POLGm/m mice had reduced proliferation and were more susceptible to oxidative stress and chemotherapeutic agents compared to WT CPCs. The majority of POLGm/m CPCs contained fragmented mitochondria as shown by immunostaining. Incubation in differentiation medium resulted in fewer GATA-4 positive POLGm/m CPCs compared to WT CPCs. The reduced differentiation in these POLGm/m CPCs correlated with reduced PGC-1α expression and OXPHOS protein levels, suggesting that mitochondrial biogenesis is impaired. These data demonstrate that mitochondria play a critical role in CPC function, and accumulation of mtDNA mutations impairs CPC function and reduces their repair potential.
Author Disclosures: A.M. Orogo: None D.A. Kubli: None A.N. Murphy: None Å.B. Gustafsson: None.
This research has received full or partial funding support from the American Heart Association, Western States Affiliate (California, Nevada & Utah).
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.