Human c-kit1 cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) are multipotent and may be used for cardiac repair. The effect of cardiovascular risk factors and medications on CPCs isolation efficiency, c-kit stem cell marker expression, and ex vivo proliferative potential is unknown and was examined in the present work. Cells from human right atrial appendages (n 5 50) were expanded in culture; after 16 days (T0), it was established the percentage of CPCs and c-kit protein mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS). Thereafter, CPCs were isolated by high throughput sorting; after culturing for 4 passages CPCs-derived cells were reanalyzed to assess c-kit1 cell percentage and enrichment vs T0. The association between 19 demographic and clinical variables to CPCs number and MFI at T0, and CPCs enrichment at P4, was determined by multiple linear regression analysis with stepwise selection procedure. The results revealed that (1) at T0, the number of isolated CPCs directly correlated to b-blocker treatment; (2) at T0, c-kit protein expression directly correlated to pulmonary hypertension (PH); (3) at P4, CPC’s enrichment inversely correlated to smoke, atrial fibrillation (AF), a history of myocardial infarction, whereas it directly correlated to PH and statins. Patient clinical profile and medications differently modulate CPCs isolation and amplification potential ex vivo. These results may provide new insights for the understanding of cardiac homeostasis and suggest both limitations and possible enhancing strategies for the therapeutic use of cardiac-resident progenitor cells. (Translational Research 2012;-:1–11)
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