Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Future Source for Reparative Medicine

Rinky Bhatia, MD; Joshua M. Hare, MD

Disclosures

CHF. 2005;11(2):87-91. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Current treatments for ischemic cardiomyopathy are aimed toward minimizing the deleterious consequences of damaged myocardium. The possibility of treating heart failure by generating new myocardium and vascular structures has provided major impetus for recent stem cell research. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), also referred to as marrow stromal cells, differentiate into a wide variety of lineages, including myocardial smooth muscle and possibly endothelial cells. The multilineage potential of MSCs, their ability to elude detection by the host's immune system, and their relative ease of expansion in culture make MSCs a very promising source of stem cells for transplantation. This paper reviews animal and human trials studying the role of MSCs in cardiomyogenesis and vasculogenesis in postinfarct myocardium, factors that stimulate MSC differentiation, routes of MSC delivery, and methods of detecting MSC engraftment.

Coronary artery occlusion leads to irreversible cardiomyocyte injury within 15.20 minutes. In the postinfarct ventricular remodeling process that ensues, cardiomyocytes are replaced by fibrous tissue, contractile function deteriorates, and the left ventricle dilates.[1] This loss of contractile tissue often leads to ischemic cardiomyopathy, with mortality rates exceeding 50% within 5 years of initial diagnosis.

Conventional therapeutic modalities are targeted toward minimizing the deleterious consequences of diseased myocardium. The possibility of treating heart failure by generating new myocardial and vascular structures has spurred intense interest in exploring cell-based therapeutics. Here we review potential roles for mesenchymal stem cells in the repair of postinfarct myocardium.

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