BACKGROUND: The immune response is a crucial factor for mediating the benefit of cardiac cell therapies. Our previous research showed that cardiomyocyte transplantation alters the cardiac immune response and, when combined with short-term pharmacological CCR2 inhibition, resulted in diminished functional benefit. However, the specific role of innate immune cells, especially CCR2 macrophages on the outcome of cardiomyocyte transplantation, is unclear.
METHODS: We compared the cellular, molecular, and functional outcome following cardiomyocyte transplantation in wildtype and T cell- and B cell-deficient Rag2del mice. The cardiac inflammatory response was assessed using flow cytometry. Gene expression profile was assessed using single-cell and bulk RNA sequencing. Cardiac function and morphology were determined using magnetic resonance tomography and immunohistochemistry respectively.
RESULTS: Compared to wildtype mice, Rag2del mice show an increased innate immune response at steady state and disparate macrophage response after MI. Subsequent single-cell analyses after MI showed differences in macrophage development and a lower prevalence of CCR2 expressing macrophages. Cardiomyocyte transplantation increased NK cells and monocytes, while reducing CCR2-MHC-IIlo macrophages. Consequently, it led to increased mRNA levels of genes involved in extracellular remodelling, poor graft survival, and no functional improvement. Using machine learning-based feature selection, Mfge8 and Ccl7 were identified as the primary targets underlying these effects in the heart.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that the improved functional outcome following cardiomyocyte transplantation is dependent on a specific CCR2 macrophage response. This work highlights the need to study the role of the immune response for cardiomyocyte cell therapy for successful clinical translation.
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Aug 2023|
Subject groups, research areas, subject areas according to Destatis
- Cell therapy, Immunocompromised, Machine learning, Macrophages, Myocardial infarction, Single-cell