TNF-alpha released from ischemic heart after acute MI increases the production of other cytokines such as interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and adhesion molecules such as intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). Activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappa B) by TNF-alpha , up-regulates the expression of molecules which are involved in inflammation and cell adhesion. For these reasons, we assessed the extent that treatment of MSC with tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha modifies the characteristics of MSC, important to their engraftment in experimental myocardial infarct. Here, we show that pre-treatment of MSC prior to transplantation with tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha increases adhesiveness, and migration of MSC in vitro and leads to increased expression of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2 by MSC. Moreover, this treatment increases the rate of engraftment of MSC and improves recovery of cardiac function after myocardial infarction. These insights might provide better strategies for the treatment of myocardial infarction.