Upon myocardial damage, the release of cardiac proteins induces a strong antibody-mediated immune response, which can lead to adverse cardiac remodeling and eventually heart failure (HF). Stem cell therapy using mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) or cardiomyocyte progenitor cells (CPCs) previously showed beneficial effects on cardiac function despite low engraftment in the heart. Paracrine mediators are likely of great importance, where, for example, MSC-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) also show immunosuppressive properties in vitro. However, the limited capacity of MSCs to differentiate into cardiac cells and the sufficient scaling of MSC-derived EVs remain a challenge to clinical translation. Therefore, we investigated the immunosuppressive actions of endogenous CPCs and CPC-derived EVs on antibody production in vitro, using both healthy controls and end-stage HF patients. Both MSCs and CPCs strongly inhibit lymphocyte proliferation and antibody production in vitro. Furthermore, CPC-derived EVs significantly lowered the levels of IgG1, IgG4, and IgM, especially when administered for longer duration. In line with previous findings, plasma cells of end-stage HF patients showed high production of IgG3, which can be inhibited by MSCs in vitro. MSCs and CPCs inhibit in vitro antibody production of both healthy and end-stage HF-derived immune cells. CPC-derived paracrine factors, such as EVs, show similar effects, but do not provide the complete immunosuppressive capacity of CPCs. The strongest immunosuppressive effects were observed using MSCs, suggesting that MSCs might be the best candidates for therapeutic targeting of B-cell responses in HF.
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