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author:("wolin, Petra")
1.  Cardiac Regenerative Medicine: The Potential of a New Generation of Stem Cells 
Cardiac stem cell therapy holds great potential to prompt myocardial regeneration in patients with ischemic heart disease. The selection of the most suitable cell type is pivotal for its successful application. Various cell types, including crude bone marrow mononuclear cells, skeletal myoblast, and hematopoietic and endothelial progenitors, have already advanced into the clinical arena based on promising results from different experimental and preclinical studies. However, most of these so-called first-generation cell types have failed to fully emulate the promising preclinical data in clinical trials, resulting in heterogeneous outcomes and a critical lack of translation. Therefore, different next-generation cell types are currently under investigation for the treatment of the diseased myocardium. This review article provides an overview of current stem cell therapy concepts, including the application of cardiac stem (CSCs) and progenitor cells (CPCs) and lineage commitment via guided cardiopoiesis from multipotent cells such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) or pluripotent cells such as embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. Furthermore, it introduces new strategies combining complementary cell types, such as MSCs and CSCs/CPCs, which can yield synergistic effects to boost cardiac regeneration.
PMCID: PMC5040935  PMID: 27721703
Allogeneic stem cell; Bone marrow; Stem cell transplantation; Stem cells; Cardiac stem cell therapy; Cardiac progenitors; Cardiopoietic cells; Cardiac stem cells; Embryonic stem cells; Induced pluripotent cells
2.  Microtissues in Cardiovascular Medicine: Regenerative Potential Based on a 3D Microenvironment 
Stem Cells International  2016;2016:9098523.
More people die annually from cardiovascular diseases than from any other cause. In particular, patients who suffer from myocardial infarction may be affected by ongoing adverse remodeling processes of the heart that may ultimately lead to heart failure. The introduction of stem and progenitor cell-based applications has raised substantial hope for reversing these processes and inducing cardiac regeneration. However, current stem cell therapies using single-cell suspensions have failed to demonstrate long-lasting efficacy due to the overall low retention rate after cell delivery to the myocardium. To overcome this obstacle, the concept of 3D cell culture techniques has been proposed to enhance therapeutic efficacy and cell engraftment based on the simulation of an in vivo-like microenvironment. Of great interest is the use of so-called microtissues or spheroids, which have evolved from their traditional role as in vitro models to their novel role as therapeutic agents. This review will provide an overview of the therapeutic potential of microtissues by addressing primarily cardiovascular regeneration. It will accentuate their advantages compared to other regenerative approaches and summarize the methods for generating clinically applicable microtissues. In addition, this review will illustrate the unique properties of the microenvironment within microtissues that makes them a promising next-generation therapeutic approach.
PMCID: PMC4814701  PMID: 27073399
3.  Comparison of NOGA Endocardial Mapping and Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Determining Infarct Size and Infarct Transmurality for Intramyocardial Injection Therapy Using Experimental Data 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e113245.
We compared the accuracy of NOGA endocardial mapping for delineating transmural and non-transmural infarction to the results of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI) with late gadolinium enhancement (LE) for guiding intramyocardial reparative substance delivery using data from experimental myocardial infarction studies.
Sixty domestic pigs underwent diagnostic NOGA endocardial mapping and cMRI-LE 60 days after induction of closed-chest reperfused myocardial infarction. The infarct size was determined by LE of cMRI and by delineation of the infarct core on the unipolar voltage polar map. The sizes of the transmural and non-transmural infarctions were calculated from the cMRI transmurality map using signal intensity (SI) cut-offs of>75% and>25% and from NOGA bipolar maps using bipolar voltage cut-off values of <0.8 mV and <1.9 mV. Linear regression analysis and Bland-Altman plots were used to determine correlations and systematic differences between the two images. The overlapping ratios of the transmural and non-transmural infarcted areas were calculated.
Infarct size as determined by 2D NOGA unipolar voltage polar mapping correlated with the 3D cMRI-LE findings (r = 0.504, p<0.001) with a mean difference of 2.82% in the left ventricular (LV) surface between the two images. Polar maps of transmural cMRI and bipolar maps of NOGA showed significant association for determining of the extent of transmural infarction (r = 0.727, p<0.001, overlap ratio of 81.6±11.1%) and non-transmural infarction (r = 0.555, p<0.001, overlap ratio of 70.6±18.5%). NOGA overestimated the transmural scar size (6.81% of the LV surface) but slightly underestimated the size of the non-transmural infarction (−3.04% of the LV surface).
By combining unipolar and bipolar voltage maps, NOGA endocardial mapping is useful for accurate delineation of the targeted zone for intramyocardial therapy and is comparable to cMRI-LE. This may be useful in patients with contraindications for cMRI who require targeted intramyocardial regenerative therapy.
PMCID: PMC4237404  PMID: 25409528
4.  Intramyocardial Transplantation and Tracking of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells in a Novel Intra-Uterine Pre-Immune Fetal Sheep Myocardial Infarction Model: A Proof of Concept Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e57759.
Although stem-cell therapies have been suggested for cardiac-regeneration after myocardial-infarction (MI), key-questions regarding the in-vivo cell-fate remain unknown. While most available animal-models require immunosuppressive-therapy when applying human cells, the fetal-sheep being pre-immune until day 75 of gestation has been proposed for the in-vivo tracking of human cells after intra-peritoneal transplantation. We introduce a novel intra-uterine myocardial-infarction model to track human mesenchymal stem cells after direct intra-myocardial transplantation into the pre-immune fetal-sheep. Thirteen fetal-sheep (gestation age: 70–75 days) were included. Ten animals either received an intra-uterine induction of MI only (n = 4) or MI+intra-myocardial injection (IMI;n = 6) using micron-sized, iron-oxide (MPIO) labeled human mesenchymal stem cells either derived from the adipose-tissue (ATMSCs;n = 3) or the bone-marrow (BMMSCs;n = 3). Three animals received an intra-peritoneal injection (IPI;n = 3; ATMSCs;n = 2/BMMSCs;n = 1). All procedures were performed successfully and follow-up was 7–9 days. To assess human cell-fate, multimodal cell-tracking was performed via MRI and/or Micro-CT, Flow-Cytometry, PCR and immunohistochemistry. After IMI, MRI displayed an estimated amount of 1×105–5×105 human cells within ventricular-wall corresponding to the injection-sites which was further confirmed on Micro-CT. PCR and IHC verified intra-myocardial presence via detection of human-specific β-2-microglobulin, MHC-1, ALU-Sequence and anti-FITC targeting the fluorochrome-labeled part of the MPIOs. The cells appeared viable, integrated and were found in clusters or in the interstitial-spaces. Flow-Cytometry confirmed intra-myocardial presence, and showed further distribution within the spleen, lungs, kidneys and brain. Following IPI, MRI indicated the cells within the intra-peritoneal-cavity involving the liver and kidneys. Flow-Cytometry detected the cells within spleen, lungs, kidneys, thymus, bone-marrow and intra-peritoneal lavage, but not within the heart. For the first time we demonstrate the feasibility of intra-uterine, intra-myocardial stem-cell transplantation into the pre-immune fetal-sheep after MI. Utilizing cell-tracking strategies comprising advanced imaging-technologies and in-vitro tracking-tools, this novel model may serve as a unique platform to assess human cell-fate after intra-myocardial transplantation without the necessity of immunosuppressive-therapy.
PMCID: PMC3606388  PMID: 23533575
5.  Antibody Phage Display Assisted Identification of Junction Plakoglobin as a Potential Biomarker for Atherosclerosis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47985.
To date, no plaque-derived blood biomarker is available to allow diagnosis, prognosis or monitoring of atherosclerotic vascular diseases. In this study, specimens of thrombendarterectomy material from carotid and iliac arteries were incubated in protein-free medium to obtain plaque and control secretomes for subsequent subtractive phage display. The selection of nine plaque secretome-specific antibodies and the analysis of their immunopurified antigens by mass spectrometry led to the identification of 22 proteins. One of them, junction plakoglobin (JUP-81) and its smaller isoforms (referred to as JUP-63, JUP-55 and JUP-30 by molecular weight) were confirmed by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting with independent antibodies to be present in atherosclerotic plaques and their secretomes, coronary thrombi of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and macrophages differentiated from peripheral blood monocytes as well as macrophage-like cells differentiated from THP1 cells. Plasma of patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD) (n = 15) and ACS (n = 11) contained JUP-81 at more than 2- and 14-fold higher median concentrations, respectively, than plasma of CAD-free individuals (n = 13). In conclusion, this proof of principle study identified and verified JUP isoforms as potential plasma biomarkers for atherosclerosis. Clinical validation studies are needed to determine its diagnostic efficacy and clinical utility as a biomarker for diagnosis, prognosis or monitoring of atherosclerotic vascular diseases.
PMCID: PMC3480477  PMID: 23110151
6.  Immediate Cytotoxicity But Not Degranulation Distinguishes Effector and Memory Subsets of CD8+ T Cells 
CD8+ T cells play a central role in the resolution and containment of viral infections. A key effector function of CD8+ T cells is their cytolytic activity toward infected cells. Here, we studied the regulation of cytolytic activity in naive, effector, and central versus effector memory CD8+ T cells specific for the same glycoprotein-derived epitope of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. Our results show that the kinetics of degranulation, assessed by a novel flow cytometric based assay, were identical in effector and both subsets of memory CD8+ T cells, but absent in naive CD8+ T cells. However, immediate cytolytic activity was most pronounced in effector T cells, low in effector memory T cells, and absent in central memory T cells, correlating with the respective levels of cytolytic effector molecules present in lytic granules. These results indicate that an inherent program of degranulation is a feature of antigen-experienced cells as opposed to naive CD8+ T cells and that the ability of CD8+ T cells to induce target cell apoptosis/death is dependent on granule protein content rather than on the act of degranulation itself. Furthermore, these results provide a potential mechanism by which central memory CD8+ T cell–mediated death of antigen-presenting cells within the lymph node is avoided.
PMCID: PMC2211884  PMID: 15051762
cytotoxic T cell; central memory; effector memory; lytic granules; virus

Results 1-6 (6)