Structural and Functional Support by Left Atrial Appendage Transplant to the Left Ventricle after a Myocardial Infarction

Jussi V. Leinonen, Päivi Leinikka, Miikka Tarkia, Milla Lampinen, Avishag K. Emanuelov, Ronen Beeri, Esko Kankuri, Eero Mervaala*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The left atrial appendage (LAA) of the adult heart has been shown to contain cardiac and myeloid progenitor cells. The resident myeloid progenitor population expresses an array of pro-regenerative paracrine factors. Cardiac constructs have been shown to inhibit deleterious remodeling of the heart using physical support. Due to these aspects, LAA holds promise as a regenerative transplant. LAAs from adult mT/mG mice were transplanted to the recipient 129X1-SvJ mice simultaneously as myocardial infarction (MI) was performed. A decellularized LAA patch was im-planted in the control group. Two weeks after MI, the LAA patch had integrated to the ventricular wall, and migrated cells were seen in the MI area. The cells had two main phenotypes: small F4/80+ cells and large troponin C+ cells. After follow-up at 8 weeks, the LAA patch remained viable, and the functional status of the heart improved. Cardiac echo demonstrated that, after 6 weeks, the mice in the LAA-patch-treated group showed an increasing and statistically significant improvement in cardiac performance when compared to the MI and MI + decellularized patch controls. Physical patch-support (LAA and decellularized LAA patch) had an equal effect on the inhibition of deleterious remodeling, but only the LAA patch inhibited the hypertrophic response. Our study demon-strates that the LAA transplantation has the potential for use as a treatment for myocardial infarc-tion. This method can putatively combine cell therapy (regenerative effect) and physical support (inhibition of deleterious remodeling).

Original languageAmerican English
Article number4661
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - 22 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • adult stem cells
  • atrial appendage
  • heart failure
  • macrophages
  • tissue transplant


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