In view of a potential clinical use we aimed this study to assess the selective homing to the injured myocardium and the definitive fate of peripherally injected labeled and previously cryopreserved Bone Marrow Mononuclear cells (BMMNCs). The myocardial damage (cryoinjury) was produced in 59 rats (45 treated, 14 controls). From 51 donor rats 4.4 x 109 BMMNCs were isolated and cryopreserved (slow-cooling protocols); the number of CD34+ and the viability of pooled cells was assessed by flow-cytometry analysis before and after cryopreservation and simulated delivery through a 23G needle. Seven days after injury, BMMNCs were thawed, labeled with PKH26 dye and peripherally injected (20 x 106 cells in 500μl) in recipient rats. Two weeks after experimental injury, the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, spleen and thymus were harvested to track transplanted cells. Except a small amount in the spleen, PKH26+ cells were found only in the infarcted myocardium of the treated animals. Typical vascular structures CD34+ were found in the infarcted areas of all animals; treated rats showed a significantly higher number of these structures if compared with untreated. Morphological ultrastructural examination of infarcted areas confirmed in treated rats the presence of early-stage PKH26+ vascular structures derived from injected BMMNCs. The estimated mean CD34+ cells loss due to the cryopreservation procedure and to the system of delivery was 0.24% and 0.1%, respectively, confirming the feasibility of the procedure. This study supports the possible therapeutic use of cryopreserved peripherally injecetd BMMNCs as a source of CD34+ independent vascular structures following myocardial damage.
Keywords: Bone marrow, myocardial damage, cryoinjury, cryopreservation, systemic injection, regenerative medicine
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