Association Between a Cell-Seeded Collagen Matrix and Cellular
The objective of cellular cardiomyoplasty is to regenerate the myocardium using implantation of living cells. Because the extracellular myocardial matrix is deeply altered in ischemic cardiomyopathies, it could be important to create a procedure aiming at regenerating both myocardial cells and the extracellular matrix. We evaluated the potential of a collagen matrix seeded with cells and grafted onto infarcted ventricles. A myocardial infarction was created in 45 mice using coronary artery ligation. Animals were randomly assigned to 4 local myocardial treatment groups. Group I underwent sham treatment (injection of cell culture medium). Group II underwent injection of human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (HUCBCs). Group III underwent injection of HUCBCs and fixation onto the epicardium of a collagen matrix seeded with HUCBCs. Group IV underwent fixation of collagen matrix (without cells) onto the infarct. Echocardiography was performed on postoperative days 7 and 45, followed by histological studies. Echocardiography showed that the association between the cell-loaded matrix and the intrainfarct cell implants was the most efficient approach to limiting postischemic ventricular dilation and remodeling. Ejection fraction improved in both cell-treated groups. The collagen matrix alone did not improve left ventricular (LV) function and remodeling. Histology in Group III showed fragments of the collagen matrix thickening and protecting the infarct scars. Segments of the matrix were consistently aligned along the LV wall, and cells were assembled within the collagen fibers in large populations. Intramyocardial injection of HUCBCs preserves LV function following infarction. The use of a cell-seeded matrix combined with cell injections prevents ventricular wall thinning and limits postischemic remodeling. This tissue engineering approach seems to improve the efficiency of cellular cardiomyoplasty and could emerge as a new therapeutic tool for the prevention of adverse remodeling and progressive heart failure.