Diminishing impairments in glucose uptake, mitochondrial content, and ADP-stimulated oxygen flux by mesenchymal stem cell therapy in the infarcted heart

Curtis C. Hughey, Freyja D. James, Lianli Ma, Deanna P. Bracy, Zhizhang Wang, David H. Wasserman, Jeffrey N. Rottman, Jane Shearer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


A constant provision of ATP is of necessity for cardiac contraction. As the heart progresses toward failure following a myocardial infarction (MI), it undergoes metabolic alterations that have the potential to compromise the ability to meet energetic demands. This study evaluated the efficacy of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation into the infarcted heart to minimize impairments in the metabolic processes that contribute to energy provision. Seven and twenty-eight days following the MI and MSC transplantation, MSC administration minimized cardiac systolic dysfunction. Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps, coupled with 2-[14C]deoxyglucose administration, were employed to assess systemic insulin sensitivity and tissue-specific, insulin-mediated glucose uptake 36 days following the MI in the conscious, unrestrained, C57BL/6 mouse. The improved systolic performance in MSC-treated mice was associated with a preservation of in vivo insulin-stimulated cardiac glucose uptake. Conserved glucose uptake in the heart was linked to the ability of the MSC treatment to diminish the decline in insulin signaling as assessed by Akt phosphorylation. The MSC treatment also sustained mitochondrial content, ADP-stimulated oxygen flux, and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation efficiency in the heart. Maintenance of mitochondrial function and density was accompanied by preserved peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor- γ coactivator-1α, a master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis. These studies provide insight into mechanisms of action that lead to an enhanced energetic state in the infarcted heart following MSC transplantation that may assist in energy provision and dampen cardiac dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C19-C27
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • Glucose uptake
  • Mitochondria
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Stem cells

Cite this