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Roell, Wilhelm1 3; Fan, Yun; Xia, Ying; Stoecker, Eva2; Sasse, Philipp; Kolossov, Eugen; Bloch, Wilhelm2; Metzner, Harald; Schmitz, Christoph1; Addicks, Klaus2; Hescheler, Juergen; Welz, Armin1; Fleischmann, Bernd K.

BRIEF COMMUNICATIONS: Experimental Transplantation

Background.  Recent progress in the cardiotypic differentiation of embryonic and somatic stem cells opens novel prospects for the treatment of cardiovascular disorders. The aim of the present study was to develop a novel surgical approach that allows standardized cellular cardiomyoplasty in mouse with low-perioperative mortality.

Methods.  Reproducible transmural lesions were generated by cryoinjury followed by intramural injection of embryonic cardiomyocytes using a newly designed holding device and vital dye staining. This approach was validated with a transgenic mouse model, in which the live reporter gene-enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) is under control of a cardiac-specific promoter.

Results.  The perioperative mortality was 10%. The engrafted EGFP-positive cardiomyocytes could be identified in a high percentage (72.2%, n=36) of operated animals.

Conclusions.  This novel approach enables reliable cellular replacement therapy in mouse and greatly facilitates the analysis of its molecular, cellular, and functional efficacy.

Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Bonn, 53105 Bonn, Germany, and Institutes of Neurophysiology and Anatomy I, University of Cologne, 50931 Cologne, Germany

1 Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Bonn, 53105 Bonn, Germany.

2 Institute of Anatomy I, University of Cologne, 50931 Cologne, Germany.

3 Address correspondence to: Institute of Neurophysiology, University of Cologne, Robert-Kochstr. 39, 50931 Cologne, Germany. E-mail:

Received 19 April 2001.

Accepted 15 August 2001.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.