Since both myocardium and vasculature in the heart are excessively damaged following myocardial infarction (MI), therapeutic strategies for treating MI hearts should concurrently target both so as to achieve true cardiac repair. Here we demonstrate a concomitant method that exploits the advantages of cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC-CMs) and human mesenchymal stem cell-loaded patch (hMSC-PA) to amplify cardiac repair in a rat MI model. Epicardially implanted hMSC-PA provide a complimentary microenvironment which enhances vascular regeneration through prolonged secretion of paracrine factors, but more importantly it significantly improves the retention and engraftment of intramyocardially injected hiPSC-CMs which ultimately restore the cardiac function. Notably, the majority of injected hiPSC-CMs display adult CMs like morphology suggesting that the secretomic milieu of hMSC-PA constitutes pleiotropic effects in vivo. We provide compelling evidence that this dual approach can be a promising means to enhance cardiac repair on MI hearts.
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