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Basic Res Cardiol. 2011 May;106(3):317-24. doi: 10.1007/s00395-011-0168-x. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Stem cell-based therapies in ischemic heart diseases: a focus on aspects of microcirculation and inflammation.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Medical Pharmacology and Physiology and Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Missouri-Columbia, 65211, USA.


Stem cells possessing the potential to replace damaged myocardium with functional myocytes have drawn increasing attention in the past decade in treating ischemic heart diseases; these diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the world. The adult heart has recently been shown to contain a few cardiac stem cells (CSCs) that, in theory, suggest cardiac repair following acute myocardial infarction is possible if the CSC titer could be increased. Stem cell-based therapies, including hematopoietic stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells, were proven to be marginal and transitional. Multiple factors and mechanisms, rather than direct cardiac regeneration are involved in stem cell-mediated cardiac functional improvement. This review will focus on (1) the interaction between inflammation and stem cells; (2) the fate of stem cells at the microcirculatory level, and their subsequent influences on stem cell-based therapies.

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