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Effects of autologous stem cells on immunohistochemical patterns and gene expression of metalloproteinases and their tissue inhibitors in doxorubicin cardiomyopathy in a rabbit model

: Aupperle, H.; Garbade, J.; Schubert, Andreas; Barten, M.; Dhein, S.; Schoon, H.A.; Mohr, F.W.

Veterinary Pathology 44 (2007), Nr.4, S.494-503
ISSN: 0300-9858
Fraunhofer IZI ()
extracellular matrix; immunohistochemistry; matrix metalloproteinase; cardiomyopathy; doxorubicin; Stammzelle

This study aims to investigate the expression of metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) in chronic doxorubicin cardiomyopathy in a rabbit model and to evaluate the effects of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation in this disease. Thirty-nine 3-month-old New Zealand rabbits were divided into 4 groups: group 1 (n = 9) was the untreated control. Groups 2-4 were treated with 6 weeks of doxorubicin (3 mg/kg). Group 2 (n = 6) received no further treatment. In group 3 (n = 9), animals were treated with culture medium (CM) alone. In group 4 (n = 15), autologous MSCs (1.5-2.0 x 106/ml) were injected in the left ventricular (LV) wall. Hearts were stained with HE and picrosirius red. MMP-1, -2, -3 and -9 and TIMP-2 and -3 were detected immunohistochemically. The mRNA levels were determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction. The results confirmed that doxorubicin treatment resulted in minimal myocardial fibrosis and showed that expression of MMPs increased and TIMP-3 decreased. The injection procedure resulted in increased myocardial fibrosis in groups 3 and 4. After MSC injection, MMP-1, MMP-2, and TIMP-3 expression was higher than that in group 2. CM injection led to more fibrosis, elevated TIMP-3, but diminished MMP-1 and MMP-2 expression compared with MSC injection. The mRNA levels of MMPs and TIMPs were not significantly different among all groups. In conclusion, chronic doxorubicin cardiomyopathy was characterized by increased MMP and decreased TIMP-3 expression. MSCs injection into the LV resulted in marked differences of collagen content and MMP/TIMP expression in the whole heart, although significant numbers of living MSCs were not detected after 4 weeks.