Thymosin β4 increases cardiac cell proliferation, cell engraftment, and the reparative potency of human induced-pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes in a porcine model of acute myocardial infarction

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Rationale: Previous studies have shown that human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes improved myocardial recovery when administered to infarcted pig and non-human primate hearts. However, the engraftment of intramyocardially delivered cells is poor and the effectiveness of clinically relevant doses of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) in large animal models of myocardial injury remains unknown. Here, we determined whether thymosin β4 (Tb4) could improve the engraftment and reparative potency of transplanted hiPSC-CMs in a porcine model of myocardial infarction (MI). Methods: Tb4 was delivered from injected gelatin microspheres, which extended the duration of Tb4 administration for up to two weeks in vitro. After MI induction, pigs were randomly distributed into 4 treatment groups: The MI Group was injected with basal medium; the Tb4 Group received gelatin microspheres carrying Tb4; the CM Group was treated with 1.2 × 108 hiPSC-CMs; and the Tb4+CM Group received both the Tb4 microspheres and hiPSC-CMs. Myocardial recovery was assessed by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), arrhythmogenesis was monitored with implanted loop recorders, and tumorigenesis was evaluated via whole-body MRI. Results: In vitro, 600 ng/mL of Tb4 protected cultured hiPSC-CMs from hypoxic damage by upregulating AKT activity and BcL-XL and promoted hiPSC-CM and hiPSC-EC proliferation. In infarcted pig hearts, hiPSC-CM transplantation alone had a minimal effect on myocardial recovery, but co-treatment with Tb4 significantly enhanced hiPSC-CM engraftment, induced vasculogenesis and the proliferation of cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells, improved left ventricular systolic function, and reduced infarct size. hiPSC-CM implantation did not increase incidence of ventricular arrhythmia and did not induce tumorigenesis in the immunosuppressed pigs. Conclusions: Co-treatment with Tb4-microspheres and hiPSC-CMs was safe and enhanced the reparative potency of hiPSC-CMs for myocardial repair in a large-animal model of MI.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Theranostics  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Tan SH; Loo SJ; Gao Y; Tao ZH; Su LP; Wang CX; Zhang SL; Mu YH; Cui YH; Abdurrachim D
  • Start Page

  • 7879
  • End Page

  • 7895
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 16