Indexed on: 08 Jul '14Published on: 08 Jul '14Published in: Canadian journal of physiology and pharmacology
Our previous studies have suggested that GATA-4 increases the differentiation of bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into cardiac phenotypes. This study further investigated whether GATA-4 enhances MSC-mediated cardioprotection following hypoxia. MSCs were harvested from rat bone marrow and transduced with GATA-4 (MSC(GATA-4)). To mimic ischemic injury, cultured cardiomyocytes (CMs) isolated from neonatal rat ventricles were exposed to hypoxia or were pretreated with concentrated conditioned medium (CdM) from MSC(GATA-4) or transduced control MSC (MSC(Null)) for 16 h before exposure to hypoxic culture conditions (low glucose and low oxygen). Myocyte damage was estimated by annexin-V-PE and TUNEL technique and by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release. Cell survival was evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5- diphenyltetrazolium (MTT) uptake. Mitochondrial membrane potential was determined using confocal microscopy. ELISA studies indicated that insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were significantly increased in MSC(GATA-4) compared with MSC(Null). Hypoxia-induced apoptosis/cell death was significantly reduced when CMs were co-cultured with MSC(GATA-4) in a dual-chamber system. Cell protection mediated by MSC(GATA-4) was mimicked by treating CMs with CdM from MSC(GATA-4) and abrogated with IGF-1- and VEGF-neutralizing antibodies. MSC(GATA-4) protects CMs under hypoxic conditions. The release of IGF-1 and VEGF from MSC(GATA-4) is likely to be responsible for protection of CMs.