Mesenchymal stromal cells are present in the heart and promote growth of adult stem cells in vitro

Entela B. Lushaj, Emily Anstadt, Robert Haworth, Drew Roenneburg, Jaehyup Kim, Peiman Hematti, Takushi Kohmoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background aims. For many years the human heart has been considered a terminally differentiated organ with no regenerative potential after injury. Recent studies, however, have cast doubt on this long-standing dogma. The objective of this study was to investigate the presence of and characterize mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) in the adult mouse heart. The impact of MSC on growth and differentiation of adult cardiac stem cells (CSC) was also analyzed. Methods. A combination of lineage-negative/c-kit-negative (Lin/c-kit) immunoselection with a plastic-adhesion technique was used to isolate cardiac-derived MSC. The differentiation capacity and expression of surface markers were analyzed. To investigate the impact of MSC on growth and differentiation of adult CSC, Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP+) adult CSC were co-cultured with GFP cardiac-derived MSC. Results. MSC were present in the adult mouse heart and they met the criteria established to define mouse MSC. They expressed surface markers and were able to differentiate, in a controlled manner, into multiple lineages. In addition, cardiac-derived MSC promoted the survival and expansion of adult CSC in vitro. Conclusions. MSC can be isolated from the mouse heart and they promote growth and differentiation of adult CSC. The findings from this study could have a significant beneficial impact on future heart failure treatment. Co-culture and co-implantation of cardiac-derived MSC with adult CSC could provide extensive cardiac regeneration and maintenance of the CSC population after implanted into the heart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-406
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • heart
  • mesenchymal stromal cells
  • mouse
  • side population cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation
  • Cancer Research


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