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A rodent model of myocardial infarction for testing the efficacy of cells and polymers for myocardial reconstruction


We have developed a robust rat model of myocardial infarction (MI). Here we describe the step-by-step protocol for creating an ischemia-reperfusion rat model of MI. We also describe how to deliver therapeutic injections of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) together with fibrin, to show an application of this model. In addition, to confirm the presence of fibrin and cells in the infarct, visualization of MSCs and fibrin by histological techniques are also described. The ischemia-reperfusion MI model can be modified and generalized for use with various injectable polymers, cell types, drugs, DNA and combinations thereof. The model can be created in 7 days or less, depending on the timing of therapeutic intervention.

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Figure 1: FACS analysis for surface markers of MSCs.
Figure 2: Overview of surgical tools and equipment.
Figure 3: Myocardial infarction model.
Figure 4: Injection of cells and fibrin.
Figure 5: Histology of cells and fibrin.


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This research was supported by grants from the US National Institutes of Health to S.L. and from the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation to R.J.L. N.F.H. was supported by a graduate fellowship from the National Science Foundation. The authors thank Julia Chu for technical assistance.

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Correspondence to Randall J Lee.

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Huang, N., Sievers, R., Park, J. et al. A rodent model of myocardial infarction for testing the efficacy of cells and polymers for myocardial reconstruction. Nat Protoc 1, 1596–1609 (2006).

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