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Stem Cells International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 176409, 14 pages
Research Article

Bcl-xL Genetic Modification Enhanced the Therapeutic Efficacy of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation in the Treatment of Heart Infarction

1Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, General Hospital of Shenyang Military Area Command, Shenyang Northern Hospital, Wenhua Road No. 83, Shenhe District, Shenyang 110016, China
2Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710032, China

Received 19 August 2014; Revised 4 November 2014; Accepted 11 November 2014

Academic Editor: Sadia Mohsin

Copyright © 2015 Xiaodong Xue et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. Low survival rate of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) severely limited the therapeutic efficacy of cell therapy in the treatment of myocardial infarction (MI). Bcl-xL genetic modification might enhance MSC survival after transplantation. Methods. Adult rat bone marrow MSCs were modified with human Bcl-xL gene (hBcl-xL-MSCs) or empty vector (vector-MSCs). MSC apoptosis and paracrine secretions were characterized using flow cytometry, TUNEL, and ELISA in vitro. In vivo, randomized adult rats with MI received myocardial injections of one of the three reagents: hBcl-xL-MSCs, vector-MSCs, or culture medium. Histochemistry, TUNEL, and echocardiography were carried out to evaluate cell engraftment, apoptosis, angiogenesis, scar formation, and cardiac functional recovery. Results. In vitro, cell apoptosis decreased 43%, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and plate-derived growth factor (PDGF) increased 1.5-, 0.7-, and 1.2-fold, respectively, in hBcl-xL-MSCs versus wild type and vector-MSCs. In vivo, cell apoptosis decreased 40% and 26% in hBcl-xL-MSC group versus medium and vector-MSC group, respectively. Similar results were observed in cell engraftment, angiogenesis, scar formation, and cardiac functional recovery. Conclusions. Genetic modification of MSCs with hBcl-xL gene could be an intriguing strategy to improve the therapeutic efficacy of cell therapy in the treatment of heart infarction.