Aims In the present study, we aimed to develop a percutaneous approach and a reproducible methodology for the isolation and expansion of Cardiac Progenitor Cells (CPCs) from EndoMyocardial Biopsies (EMB) in vivo. Moreover, in an animal model of non-ischemic heart failure (HF), we would like to test whether CPCs obtained by this methodology may engraft the myocardium and differentiate. Methods and results EMB were obtained using a preformed sheath and a disposable bioptome, advanced via right femoral vein in 12 healthy mini pigs, to the right ventricle. EMB were enzymatically dissociated, cells were expanded and sorted for c-kit. We used 3D-Electro-Anatomic Mapping (3D-EAM) to obtain CPCs from 32 patients affected by non-ischemic cardiomyopathy. The in vivo regenerative potential of CPCs was tested in a rodent model of drug-induced non-ischemic cardiomyopathy. c-kit positive CPCs replicative capacity was assessed in 30 patients. Telomere length averaged 7.4Â Â±Â 0.4Â kbp and telomerase activity was present in all preparations (1.7Â ÃÂ 105copies). The in situ hybridization experiments showed that injected human CPCs may acquire a neonatal myocyte phenotype given the expression of the alpha-sarcomeric actin together with the presence of the Alu probe, suggesting a beneficial impact on LV performance. Conclusions The success in obtaining CPCs characterized by high regenerative potential, in vitro and in vivo, from EMB indicates that harvesting without thoracotomy in patients affected by either ischemic or non-ischemic cardiomyopathy is feasible. These initial results may potentially expand the future application of CPCs to all patients affected by HF not undergoing surgical procedures.
- 3D-endomyocardial biopsies
- Cardiac progenitor/stem cells
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Endomyocardial biopsies
- Heart failure