Combining neuropeptide Y and mesenchymal stem cells reverses remodeling after myocardial infarction

Yigang Wang, Dongsheng Zhang, Muhammad Ashraf, Tiemin Zhao, Wei Huang, Atif Ashraf, Ambikaipakan Balasubramaniam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Neuropeptide Y (NPY) induced reentry of differentiated rat neonatal and adult cardiomyocytes into the cell cycle. NPY also induced differentiation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) into cardiomyocytes following transplantation into infarcted myocardium. Rat neonatal and adult cardiomyocytes were treated in vitro with vehicle, NPY, fibroblast growth factor (FGF; 100 ng/ml), or FGF plus NPY. DNA synthesis, mitosis, and cytokinesis were determined by immunocytochemistry. NPY-induced MSC gene expression, cell migration, tube formation, and endothelial cell differentiation were analyzed. Male rat green fluorescent protein-MSC (2 × 106), pretreated with either vehicle or NPY (10-8 M) for 72 h, were injected into the border zone of the female myocardium following left anterior descending artery ligation. On day 30, heart function was assessed, and hearts were harvested for histological and immunohistochemical analyses. NPY increased 5-bromo-2′-deoxy-uridine incorporation and promoted both cytokinesis and mitosis in rat neonatal and adult myocytes. NPY also upregulated several genes required for mitosis in MSC, including aurora B kinase, FGF-2, cycline A2, eukaryotic initiation factor 4 E, and stromal cell-derived factor-1α. NPY directly induced neonatal and adult cardiomyocyte cell-cycle reentry and enhanced the number of differentiated cardiomyocytes from MSC in the infarcted myocardium, which corresponded to improved cardiac function, reduced fibrosis, ventricular remodeling, and increased angiomyogenesis. It is concluded that a combined treatment of NPY with MSC is a novel approach for cardiac repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H275-H286
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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