We systematically investigated the comparative efficacy of three different cytokine regimens, administered after a reperfused myocardial infarction, in regenerating cardiac tissue and improving left ventricular (LV) function. Wild-type (WT) mice underwent a 30-minute coronary occlusion followed by reperfusion and received vehicle, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)+Flt-3 ligand (FL), G-CSF+stem cell factor (SCF), or G-CSF alone starting 4 hours after reperfusion. In separate experiments, chimeric mice generated by reconstitution of radioablated WT mice with bone marrow from enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) transgenic mice underwent identical protocols. Mice were euthanized 5 weeks later. Echocardiographically, LV function was improved in G-CSF+FL- and G-CSF+SCF-treated but not in G-CSF-treated mice, whereas LV end-diastolic dimensions were smaller in all three groups. Morphometrically, cytokine-treated hearts had smaller LV diameter and volume. Numerous EGFP-positive cardiomyocytes, capillaries, and arterioles were noted in the infarcted region in cytokine-treated chimeric mice treated with G-CSF+FL or G-CSF+SCF, but the numbers were much smaller in G-CSF-treated mice. G-CSF+FL therapy mobilized bone marrow-derived cells exhibiting increased expression of surface antigens (CD62L and CD11a) that facilitate homing. We conclude that postinfarct cytokine therapy with G-CSF+FL or G-CSF+SCF limits adverse LV remodeling and improves LV performance by promoting cardiac regeneration and probably also by exerting other beneficial actions unrelated to regeneration, and that G-CSF alone is less effective.
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