Clinical and experimental data give evidence that transplantation of stem and progenitor cells in myocardial infarction could be beneficial, although the underlying mechanism has remained elusive. Ventricular tachyarrhythmia is the most frequent and potentially lethal complication of myocardial infarction, but the impact of mono nuclear cells on the incidence of ventricular arrhythmia is still not clear.
We aimed to characterize the influence of splenic mononuclear cell populations on ventricular arrhythmia after myocardial infarction.
We assessed electrical vulnerability in vivo in mice with left ventricular cryoinfarction 14 days after injury and intramyocardial injection of specific subpopulations of mononuclear cells (MNCs) (CD11b-positive cells, Sca-1-positive cells, early endothelial progenitor cells (eEPCs)). As positive control group we used embryonic cardiomyocytes (eCMs). Epicardial mapping was performed for analysing conduction velocities in the border zone. Left ventricular function was quantified by echocardiography and left heart catheterization.
In vivo pacing protocols induced ventricular tachycardia (VT) in 30% of non-infarcted mice. In contrast, monomorphic or polymorphic VT could be evoked in 94% of infarcted and vehicle-injected mice (p<0.01). Only transplantation of eCMs prevented post-infarction VT and improved conduction velocities in the border zone in accordance to increased expression of connexin 43. Cryoinfarction resulted in a broad aggravation of left ventricular function. All transplanted cell types augmented left ventricular function to a similar extent.