Aims The identification of factors that mobilize subsets of endogenous progenitor cells may provide new therapeutic tools to enhance the repair of ischaemic tissue. We previously identified circulating mesenchymal cells that co-express endothelial markers (so-called circulating mesoangioblasts, cMABs) in children undergoing heart surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). However, the mechanisms by which these cells are mobilized and their origin is unclear. Methods and results Circulating CD73 +CD45 -KDR + cMABs were analysed in adults undergoing heart surgery with (n=21) or without CPB (n=8). During surgery with CPB, cMABs are mobilized with a maximal response at the end of the operation. In contrast, off-pump heart surgery does not stimulate cMAB mobilization, indicating that the stress mediated by CPB induces the mobilization of cMAB. Circulating mesoangioblasts were enriched in blood obtained from the coronary sinus. Histologically, CD73 + cells were detected around vessels in the heart, indicating that the heart is one of the niches of cMABs. Consistently, studies in gender mismatched bone marrow transplanted patients demonstrated that cMABs did not originate from the bone marrow. Cytokine profiling of serum samples revealed that hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) was profoundly increased at the time point of maximal mobilization of cMABs. Hepatocyte growth factor stimulated the migration of cMABs. Importantly, injection of recombinant HGF increased cMABs in rats. Conclusions Hepatocyte growth factor induces mobilization of non-haematopoietic progenitor cells with a cardiac repair capacity. This newly identified function together with the known pleiotrophic effects of HGF makes HGF an attractive therapeutic option for the treatment of ischaemic heart disease.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine