Transplantation of genetically engineered cardiac fibroblasts producing recombinant human erythropoietin to repair the infarcted myocardium

Emil Ruvinov*, Orna Sharabani-Yosef, Arnon Nagler, Tom Einbinder, Micha S. Feinberg, Radka Holbova, Amos Douvdevani, Jonathan Leor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Background Erythropoietin possesses cellular protection properties. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that in situ expression of recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) would improve tissue repair in rat after myocardial infarction (MI). Methods and Results RhEPO-producing cardiac fibroblasts were generated ex vivo by transduction with retroviral vector. The anti-apoptotic effect of rhEPO-producing fibroblasts was evaluated by co-culture with rat neonatal cardiomyocytes exposed to H2O2-induced oxidative stress. Annexin V/PI assay and DAPI staining showed that compared with control, rhEPO forced expression markedly attenuated apoptosis and improved survival of cultured cardiomyocytes. To test the effect of rhEPO on the infarcted myocardium, Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to permanent coronary artery occlusion, and rhEPO-producing fibroblasts, non-transduced fibroblasts, or saline, were injected into the scar tissue seven days after infarction. One month later, immunostaining identified rhEPO expression in the implanted engineered cells but not in controls. Compared with non-transduced fibroblasts or saline injection, implanted rhEPOproducing fibroblasts promoted vascularization in the scar, and prevented cell apoptosis. By two-dimensional echocardiography and postmortem morphometry, transplanted EPO-engineered fibroblasts did not prevent left ventricular (LV) dysfunction and adverse LV remodeling 5 and 9 weeks after MI. Conclusion In situ expression of rhEPO enhances vascularization and reduces cell apoptosis in the infarcted myocardium. However, local EPO therapy is insufficient for functional improvement after MI in rat.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGenetic Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationRecent Developments in Applications
PublisherApple Academic Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781466559875
ISBN (Print)9781926692678
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2011


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