The Beneficial Effect of Mechanical Stimulation on the Regenerative Potential of Muscle-Derived Stem Cells Is Lost by Inhibiting Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor
Objective—We previously reported that mechanical stimulation increased the effectiveness of muscle-derived stem cells (MDSCs) for tissue repair. The objective of this study was to determine the importance of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) on mechanically stimulated MDSCs in a murine model of muscle regeneration.
Approach and Results—MDSCs were transduced with retroviral vectors encoding the LacZ reporter gene (lacZ-MDSCs), the soluble VEGF receptor Flt1 (sFlt1-MDSCs), or a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting messenger RNA of VEGF (shRNA_VEGF MDSCs). Cells were subjected to 24 hours of mechanical cyclic strain and immediately transplanted into the gastrocnemius muscles of mdx/scid mice. Two weeks after transplantation, angiogenesis, fibrosis, and regeneration were analyzed. There was an increase in angiogenesis in the muscles transplanted with mechanically stimulated lacZ-MDSCs compared with nonstimulated lacZ-MDSCs, sFlt1-MDSCs, and shRNA _VEGF MDSCs. Dystrophin-positive myofiber regeneration was significantly lower in the shRNA_VEGF-MDSC group compared with the lacZ-MDSC and sFlt1-MDSC groups. In vitro proliferation of MDSCs was not decreased by inhibition of VEGF; however, differentiation into myotubes and adhesion to collagen were significantly lower in the shRNA_VEGF-MDSC group compared with the lacZ-MDSC and sFlt1-MDSC groups.
Conclusions—The beneficial effects of mechanical stimulation on MDSC-mediated muscle repair are lost by inhibiting VEGF.
- Received August 12, 2012.
- Accepted April 12, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.