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The lower cell survival and retention in the hostile microenvironment after transplantation has been implicated as a major bottleneck in the advancement of stem cell therapy for myocardial infarction (MI). In this study, we designed a novel self-assembling peptide (SAP) by attaching prosurvival peptide QHREDGS derived from angiopoeitin-1 to the known SAP, RADA16-I. The mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were harvested from male rats and cytoprotective effect of this designer SAP (DSAP) on cultured MSCs was detected by Hoechst 33342 staining after being exposed to oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD). The cytoprotective effect of MSC seeded in DSAP (DSAP-MSC) on OGD treated cardiomyocytes was examined by TUNEL staining, phosphorylated (p-) protein kinase B (Akt) level, and ELISA. The therapeutic potential of MSC transplantation carried in DSAP was evaluated in a female rat MI model. PBS, MSC alone, MSC seeded in SAP (SAP-MSC), or DSAP-MSC were transplanted into the border of the infarcted area, respectively. DSAP not only increased the proliferation of MSCs and decreased apoptosis of MSCs after OGD treatment but also promoted the secretion of IGF-1 and HGF in MSCs. Treatment with culture supernatant of DSAP-MSC markedly reduced the percentage of apoptotic cardiomyocytes and increased the level of p-Akt. Compared with the MSC group and SAP-MSC group, DSAP-MSC injection improved cardiac function and reduced infarct size, collagen content, and cell apoptosis. The number of Y chromosome-positive cells and microvessels in the DSAP-MSC group was higher than those in the MSC group and SAP-MSC group. Moreover, DSAP-MSC transplantation down-regulated the expression of IL-6 and IL-1β and up-regulated the level of VEGF and HGF. Interestingly, miR-21 was enriched in DSAP-MSC-derived exosomes (DSAP-MSC-Exo) and the protection against cardiomyocytes apoptosis by DSAP-MSC-Exo was inhibited when miR-21 was knocked down. Furthermore, miR-21 contributed to the improvement of cardiac function after DSAP-MSC-Exo injection in a rat model of MI. Additionally, the combination of DSAP and cardiotrophin-1 (Ctf1) pretreatment further improved the survival of MSC and the efficiency of MSC transplantation. We proposed QHREDGS-modified SAP as an effective cell delivery system and demonstrated that MSC transplantation in this DSAP promoted angiogenesis and paracrine, thereby reducing scar size and cell apoptosis as well as improving cardiac function probably via exosome-mediated miR-21 after MI. Furthermore, for the first time, we proposed that DSAP, especially working together with Ctf1 pretreatment, could be a valuable way to improve the survival of MSC and the efficiency of MSC transplantation after MI.-Cai, H., Wu, F.-Y., Wang, Q.-L., Xu, P., Mou, F.-F., Shao, S.-J., Luo, Z.-R., Zhu, J., Xuan, S.-S., Lu, R., Guo, H.-D. Self-assembling peptide modified with QHREDGS as a novel delivery system for mesenchymal stem cell transplantation after myocardial infarction.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
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