Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 11 pp 14687—14708
Age-related defects in autophagy alter the secretion of paracrine factors from bone marrow mononuclear cells
- 1 Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
- 2 Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Received: January 12, 2021 Accepted: May 14, 2021 Published: June 4, 2021https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.203127
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2021 Yeganeh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Bone marrow mononuclear cell therapy improves cardiac repair after myocardial infarction (MI), in-part through signaling to resident cardiac cells, such as fibroblasts, which regulate scar formation. The efficacy of cell therapy declines with age, as aging of both donor and recipient cells decreases repair responses. Autophagy regulates the microenvironment by both extracellular vesicle (EV)-dependent and independent secretion pathways. We hypothesized that age-related autophagy changes in bone marrow cells (BMCs) alter paracrine signaling, contributing to lower cell therapy efficacy. Here, we demonstrate that young Sca-1+ BMCs exhibited a higher LC3II/LC3I ratio compared to old Sca-1+ BMCs, which was accentuated when BMCs were cultured under hypoxia. To examine the effect on paracrine signaling, old cardiac fibroblasts were cultured with conditioned medium (CM) from young and old Sca-1+ BMCs. Young, but not old CM, enhanced fibroblast proliferation, migration, and differentiation, plus reduced senescence. These beneficial effects were lost when autophagy or EV secretion in BMCs was blocked pharmacologically, or by siRNA knockdown of Atg7. Therefore, both EV-dependent and -independent paracrine signaling from young BMCs is responsible for paracrine stimulation of old cardiac fibroblasts. In vivo, bone marrow chimerism of old mice with young BMCs increased the number of LC3b+ cells in the heart compared to old mice reconstituted with old BMCs. These data suggest that the deterioration of autophagy with aging negatively impacts the paracrine effects of BMCs, and provide mechanistic insight into the age-related decline in cell therapy efficacy that could be targeted to improve the function of old donor cells.