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Ultrastructure of transplanted mesenchymal stem cells after acute myocardial infarction
  1. M Thoelen,
  2. F Vandenabeele,
  3. J L Rummens,
  4. M Hendrikx

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Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were isolated from sheep bone marrow and expanded in vitro for four weeks. Cells were found to be CD34 (−) negative by flow cytometry. The bone marrow derived MSCs (BD-MSCs) were implanted in the border zone of the infarcted area, four hours after occlusion of the first obtuse marginal branch of the circumflex artery. One month later, the animal was killed and the transplanted BD-MSCs examined by transmission electron microscopy.

The figure shows a high power electron micrograph of a longitudinal section through two muscle fibres. The viable myocardium on the left shows a normal appearance of the sarcomeres. Note disruption of myofibrils in the infarcted area on the right. Mitochondria appear small and spherical. The arrow points to a cell that fulfils the ultrastructural criteria of satellite cells and is morphologically identical with satellite cells described in skeletal muscle. The satellite cell sends cytoplasmic extensions into the adjacent muscle fibre, enabling the plasma membrane to make close contact. Note the continuous basal lamina surrounding the satellite cell and myofibre. The abundance of heterochromatin, paucity of cytoplasmic organelles and high nuclear/cytoplasmic volume ratio is indicative of a relatively inactive satellite cell. Immunohistochemical staining for troponin I and cardiac specific myosin of the implanted BD-MSCs was negative.

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