Posted on Nov 28, 2011, 6 a.m.
Healthy, new heart cells regenerate after infusion of stem cells, in an animal model of chronic ischemic heart disease.
Ischemic heart disease from coronary artery narrowing and prior heart attacks is the most common cause of heart failure. Previous investigations have largely focused on regenerating muscle in scarred tissue, a team from the University of Buffalo (New York, USA) has shown that cardiac repair may be brought about by infusing cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs) slowly into coronary arteries of the diseased as well as normal areas of the heart. Gen Suzuki and colleagues demonstrated a 30% increase in healthy heart muscle cells within a month after receiving CDCs. This finding is contrary to conventional wisdom which has held that heart cells are terminally differentiated and thus, are unable to divide. The research currently is in a preclinical phase but the University of Buffalo researchers expect that translation to determine effectiveness in patients could take place within two to three years or possibly even sooner.
Gen Suzuki, Vijay Iyer, Te-Chung Lee, John M. Canty, Jr. “Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cells Mobilize cKit+ and CD133+ Bone Marrow Progenitor Cells and Improve Regional Function in Hibernating Myocardium.” Circulation Research. 2011;109:1044-1054, September 1, 2011.