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Growth Factor Enhancement of Cardiac Regeneration

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The potential for endogenous or supplementary stem cells to restore the form and function of damaged tissues is particularly promising for overcoming the restricted regenerative capacity of the mammalian heart. To maintain blood circulation, this essential organ needs to launch a rapid response to repair damage of the muscle wall and to prevent muscle loss. The capacity of growth factors to supplement the repair process has been successfully applied to restore the integrity of damaged skeletal muscle, reducing the fibrotic response to injury, and recruiting local populations of self-renewing precursor cells and circulating stem cells. We review the recent evidence that extension of growth factor supplementation to the heart may overcome its inherent regenerative impediments through improvement of the local tissue environment and stimulation of cell replacement, and we speculate on future research directions for treatment of myocardial damage.

Keywords: Heart; Muscle; Regeneration; Stem cells

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Mouse Biology Unit, EMBL-Monterotondo Outstation, Monterotondo (Rome) 00016, Italy 2: Department of Histology and Medical Embryology, CE-BEMM, Interuniversity Institute of Myology, University of Rome, “La Sapienza” Rome, 00161, Italy

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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