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In Situ Electrostimulation Drives a Regenerative Shift in the Zone of Infarcted Myocardium

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Electrostimulation represents a well-known trophic factor for different tissues. In vitro electrostimulation of non-stem and stem cells induces myogenic predifferentiation and may be a powerful tool to generate cells with the capacity to respond to local areas of injury. We evaluated the effects of in vivo electrostimulation on infarcted myocardium using a miniaturized multiparameter implantable stimulator in rats. Parameters of electrostimulation were organized to avoid a direct driving or pacing of native heart rhythm. Electrical stimuli were delivered for 14 days across the scar site. In situ electrostimulation used as a cell-free, cytokine-free stimulation system, improved myocardial function, and increased angiogenesis through endothelial progenitor cell migration and production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In situ electrostimulation represents a novel means to stimulate repair of the heart and other organs, as well as to precondition tissues for treatment with cell-based therapies.
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Keywords: Electrostimulation (ES); Infarct; Myocardium; Stem cells

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Center for Integrated Research, Department of Cardiovascular Science, Unit of Cardiac Surgery, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Rome, Italy

Publication date: 01 March 2013

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