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Open Access Mesenchymal Stem Cell Insights: Prospects in Cardiovascular Therapy

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Ischemic heart damage usually triggers cardiomyopathological remodeling and fibrosis, thus promoting the development of heart functional failure. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a heterogeneous group of cells in culture, with multipotent and hypoimmunogenic characters to aid tissue repair and avoid immune responses, respectively. Numerous experimental findings have proven the feasibility, safety, and efficiency of MSC therapy for cardiac regeneration. Despite that the exact mechanism remains unclear, the therapeutic ability of MSCs to treat ischemia heart diseases has been tested in phase I/II clinical trials. Based on encouraging preliminary findings, MSCs might become a potentially efficacious tool in the therapeutic options available to treat ischemic and nonischemic cardiovascular disorders. The molecular mechanism behind the efficacy of MSCs on promoting engraftment and accelerating the speed of heart functional recovery is still waiting for clarification. It is hypothesized that cardiomyocyte regeneration, paracrine mechanisms for cardiac repair, optimization of the niche for cell survival, and cardiac remodeling by inflammatory control are involved in the interaction between MSCs and the damaged myocardial environment. This review focuses on recent experimental and clinical findings related to cellular cardiomyoplasticity. We focus on MSCs, highlighting their roles in cardiac tissue repair, transdifferentiation, the MSC niche in myocardial tissues, discuss their therapeutic efficacy that has been tested for cardiac therapy, and the current bottleneck of MSC-based cardiac therapies.
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Keywords: Cellular therapy; Differentiation; Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); Myocardial infarction; Niche; Paracrine; Regeneration

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Life Science, Fu-Jen Catholic University, Xinzhuang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan

Publication date: 2014-04-09

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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.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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