September 10, 2013
Sustained release of engineered stromal cell-derived factor 1-a from injectable hydrogels effectively recruits endothelial progenitor cells and preserves ventricular function after myocardial infarction
Macarthur, J. W., Purcell, B. P., Shudo, Y., Cohen, J. E., Fairman, A., Trubelja, A., Patel, J., Hsiao, P., Yang, E., Lloyd, K., Hiesinger, W., Atluri, P., Burdick, J. A., Woo, Y. J.
Exogenously delivered chemokines have enabled neovasculogenic myocardial repair in models of ischemic cardiomyopathy; however, these molecules have short half-lives in vivo. In this study, we hypothesized that the sustained delivery of a synthetic analog of stromal cell-derived factor 1-α (engineered stromal cell-derived factor analog [ESA]) induces continuous homing of endothelial progenitor cells and improves left ventricular function in a rat model of myocardial infarction.Our previously designed ESA peptide was synthesized by the addition of a fluorophore tag for tracking. Hyaluronic acid was chemically modified with hydroxyethyl methacrylate to form hydrolytically degradable hydrogels through free-radical-initiated crosslinking. ESA was encapsulated in hyaluronic acid hydrogels during gel formation, and then ESA release, along with gel degradation, was monitored for more than 4 weeks in vitro. Chemotactic properties of the eluted ESA were assessed at multiple time points using rat endothelial progenitor cells in a transwell migration assay. Finally, adult male Wistar rats (n=33) underwent permanent ligation of the left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery, and 100 µL of saline, hydrogel alone, or hydrogel+25 µg ESA was injected into the borderzone. ESA fluorescence was monitored in animals for more than 4 weeks, after which vasculogenic, geometric, and functional parameters were assessed to determine the therapeutic benefit of each treatment group. ESA release was sustained for 4 weeks in vitro, remained active, and enhanced endothelial progenitor cell chemotaxis. In addition, ESA was detected in the rat heart >3 weeks when delivered within the hydrogels and significantly improved vascularity, ventricular geometry, ejection fraction, cardiac output, and contractility compared with controls.We have developed a hydrogel delivery system that sustains the release of a bioactive endothelial progenitor cell chemokine during a 4-week period that preserves ventricular function in a rat model of myocardial infarction.