Background A single dose of allogeneic cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs) improves cardiac function and reduces scarring, and increases viable myocardium in the infarcted rat and pig heart without eliciting a detrimental immune response. Clinical trials using single doses of allogeneic human CDCs are underway. It is unknown whether repeat dosing confers additional benefit or if it elicits an immune response. Methods Wistar–Kyoto rats underwent coronary artery ligation and intramyocardial injection of CDCs, with a second thoracotomy and repeat CDC injection 3 weeks later. Treatment permutations included 2 doses of allogeneic Brown–Norway CDCs (n = 24), syngeneic Wistar–Kyoto CDCs (n = 24), xenogeneic human CDCs (n = 24) or saline (n = 8). Cardiac function was assessed by transthoracic echocardiography, infarct size and inflammatory infiltration by histology, and cellular and humoral immune responses by lymphocyte proliferation and alloantibody assays. Results Repeat dosing of allogeneic and syngeneic CDCs improved ejection fraction by 5.2% (95% CI 2.1 to 8.3) and 6.8% (95% CI 3.8 to 9.8) after the first dose, and by 3.4% (95% CI 0.1% to 6.8%) and 6.4% (95% CI 4.2% to 8.6%) after the second dose. Infarct size was equally reduced with repeat dosing of syngeneic and allogeneic CDCs relative to xenogeneic and control treatments (p < 0.0001). Significant rejection-like infiltrates were present only in the xenogeneic group; likewise, lymphocyte proliferation and antibody assays were positive in the xenogeneic and negative in syngeneic and allogeneic groups. Conclusions Repeat dosing of allogeneic CDCs in immunocompetent rats is safe and effective, consistent with the known immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties of CDCs. These findings motivate clinical testing of repeatedly dosed CDCs for chronic heart disease.
- cardiosphere-derived cells
- cell therapy
- regenerative medicine
- stem cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine