Bone marrow-derived cells can acquire cardiac stem cells properties in damaged heart

Lucio Barile, Francesco Cerisoli, Giacomo Frati, Roberto Gaetani, Isotta Chimenti, Elvira Forte, Letizia Cassinelli, Laura Spinardi, Claudia Altomare, Eddy Kizana, Alessandro Giacomello, Elisa Messina, Sergio Ottolenghi, Maria Cristina Magli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Experimental data suggest that cell-based therapies may be useful for cardiac regeneration following ischaemic heart disease. Bone marrow (BM) cells have been reported to contribute to tissue repair after myocardial infarction (MI) by a variety of humoural and cellular mechanisms. However, there is no direct evidence, so far, that BM cells can generate cardiac stem cells (CSCs). To investigate whether BM cells contribute to repopulate the Kit+ CSCs pool, we transplanted BM cells from transgenic mice, expressing green fluorescent protein under the control of Kit regulatory elements, into wild-type irradiated recipients. Following haematological reconstitution and MI, CSCs were cultured from cardiac explants to generate 'cardiospheres', a microtissue normally originating in vitro from CSCs. These were all green fluorescent (i.e. BM derived) and contained cells capable of initiating differentiation into cells expressing the cardiac marker Nkx2.5. These findings indicate that, at least in conditions of local acute cardiac damage, BM cells can home into the heart and give rise to cells that share properties of resident Kit+ CSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Cardiac stem cells
  • Kit cells
  • Tissue regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Medicine


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