Bone marrow (BM) cells are reported to contribute to the process of regeneration following myocardial infarction. However, the responsible BM cells have not been fully identified. Here, we used 2 independent clonal studies to determine the origin of bone marrow (BM)-derived cardiomyocytes. First, we transplanted single CD34- c-kit+Sca-1+ lineage- side population (CD34-KSL-SP) cells or whole BM cells from mice ubiquitously expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) into lethally irradiated mice, induced myocardial infarction (MI), and treated the animals with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) to mobilize stem cells to the damaged myocardium. At 8 weeks after MI, from 100 specimens we counted only 3 EGFP+ actinin+ cells in myocardium of CD34- KSL-SP cells in mice that received transplants, but more than 5000 EGFP+ actinin+ cells in whole BM cell in mice that received transplants, suggesting that most of EGFP+ actinin+ cells were derived from nonhematopoietic BM cells. Next, clonally purified nonhematopoietic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), cardiomyogenic (CMG) cells, that expressed EGFP in the cardiomyocyte-specific manner were transplanted directly into BM of lethally irradiated mice, MI was induced, and they were treated with G-CSF. EGFP+ actinin+ cells were observed in the ischemic myocardium, indicating that CMG cells had been mobilized and differentiated into cardiomyocytes. Together, these results suggest that the origin of the vast majority of BM-derived cardiomyocytes is MSCs.
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