Novel MicroRNA prosurvival cocktail for improving engraftment and function of cardiac progenitor cell transplantation

Shijun Hu, Mei Huang, Patricia K. Nguyen, Yongquan Gong, Zongjin Li, Fangjun Jia, Feng Lan, Junwei Liu, Divya Nag, Robert C. Robbins, Joseph C. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Background-Although stem cell therapy has provided a promising treatment for myocardial infarction, the low survival of the transplanted cells in the infarcted myocardium is possibly a primary reason for failure of long-term improvement. Therefore, the development of novel prosurvival strategies to boost stem cell survival will be of significant benefit to this field. Methods and Results-Cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) were isolated from transgenic mice, which constitutively express firefly luciferase and green fluorescent protein. The CPCs were transduced with individual lentivirus carrying the precursor of miR-21, miR-24, and miR-221, a cocktail of these 3 microRNA precursors, or green fluorescent protein as a control. After challenge in serum free medium, CPCs treated with the 3 microRNA cocktail showed significantly higher viability compared with untreated CPCs. After intramuscular and intramyocardial injections, in vivo bioluminescence imaging showed that microRNA cocktail-treated CPCs survived significantly longer after transplantation. After left anterior descending artery ligation, microRNA cocktail-treated CPCs boost the therapeutic efficacy in terms of functional recovery. Histological analysis confirmed increased myocardial wall thickness and CPC engraftment in the myocardium with the microRNA cocktail. Finally, we used bioinformatics analysis and experimental validation assays to show that Bim, a critical apoptotic activator, is an important target gene of the microRNA cocktail, which collectively can bind to the 3′UTR region of Bim and suppress its expression. Conclusions-We have demonstrated that a microRNA prosurvival cocktail (miR-21, miR-24, and miR-221) can improve the engraftment of transplanted cardiac progenitor cells and therapeutic efficacy for treatment of ischemic heart disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S27-S34
Issue number11 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Sep 13 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiac progenitor cell
  • cell therapy
  • ischemic heart disease
  • microRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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