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Articles by A Giacomello
Total Records ( 2 ) for A Giacomello
  R Gaetani , M Ledda , L Barile , I Chimenti , F De Carlo , E Forte , V Ionta , L Giuliani , E D`Emilia , G Frati , F Miraldi , D Pozzi , E Messina , S Grimaldi , A Giacomello and A. Lisi

Modulation of cardiac stem cell (CSC) differentiation with minimal manipulation is one of the main goals of clinical applicability of cell therapy for heart failure. CSCs, obtained from human myocardial bioptic specimens and grown as cardiospheres (CSps) and cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs), can engraft and partially regenerate the infarcted myocardium, as previously described. In this paper we assessed the hypothesis that exposure of CSps and CDCs to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs), tuned at Ca2+ ion cyclotron energy resonance (Ca2+-ICR), may drive their differentiation towards a cardiac-specific phenotype.

Methods and results

A significant increase in the expression of cardiac markers was observed after 5 days of exposure to Ca2+-ICR in both human CSps and CDCs, as evidenced at transcriptional, translational, and phenotypical levels. Ca2+ mobilization among intracellular storages was observed and confirmed by compartmentalized analysis of Ca2+ fluorescent probes.


These results suggest that ELF-EMFs tuned at Ca2+-ICR could be used to drive cardiac-specific differentiation in adult cardiac progenitor cells without any pharmacological or genetic manipulation of the cells that will be used for therapeutic purposes.

  I Chimenti , R. R Smith , T. S Li , G Gerstenblith , E Messina , A Giacomello and E. Marban

Rationale: Multiple biological mechanisms contribute to the efficacy of cardiac cell therapy. Most prominent among these are direct heart muscle and blood vessel regeneration from transplanted cells, as opposed to paracrine enhancement of tissue preservation and/or recruitment of endogenous repair.

Objective: Human cardiac progenitor cells, cultured as cardiospheres (CSps) or as CSp-derived cells (CDCs), have been shown to be capable of direct cardiac regeneration in vivo. Here we characterized paracrine effects in CDC transplantation and investigated their relative importance versus direct differentiation of surviving transplanted cells.

Methods and Results: In vitro, many growth factors were found in media conditioned by human adult CSps and CDCs; CDC-conditioned media exerted antiapoptotic effects on neonatal rat ventricular myocytes, and proangiogenic effects on human umbilical vein endothelial cells. In vivo, human CDCs secreted vascular endothelial growth factor, hepatocyte growth factor, and insulin-like growth factor 1 when transplanted into the same SCID mouse model of acute myocardial infarction where they were previously shown to improve function and to produce tissue regeneration. Injection of CDCs in the peri-infarct zone increased the expression of Akt, decreased apoptotic rate and caspase 3 level, and increased capillary density, indicating overall higher tissue resilience. Based on the number of human-specific cells relative to overall increases in capillary density and myocardial viability, direct differentiation quantitatively accounted for 20% to 50% of the observed effects.

Conclusions: Together with their spontaneous commitment to cardiac and angiogenic differentiation, transplanted CDCs serve as "role models," recruiting endogenous regeneration and improving tissue resistance to ischemic stress. The contribution of the role model effect rivals or exceeds that of direct regeneration.

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