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ISRN Cardiol. 2012;2012:483407. doi: 10.5402/2012/483407. Epub 2012 Mar 4.

Distribution of cardiac stem cells in the human heart.

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  • 1Department of Cardiac Surgery, Kerckhoff Klinik, Bad Nauheim, Benekestr. 2-8, 61231 Bad Nauheim,, Germany.


Introduction. The existence of human cardiac stem cells (hCSC) and their regenerative capacity are not fully defined. The aim of this study was to identify and analyse the distribution of hCSCs by flow cytometry (FCM). Methods. Tissue samples from the left ventricle (LV) and the appendages of the right atrium (RA) and left atrium (LA) were taken during cardiac surgery. Mononuclear cells (MNCs) were isolated, labelled for the stem-cell-marker c-kit and hematopoietic-lineage markers and analysed by FCM. Results. HCSCs could be isolated from the RA, LA, and LV without significant quantitative difference between both atria (A) (RA 4.80 ± 1.76% versus LA 4.99 ± 1.69% of isolated MNCs, P = 0.922). The number of hCSCs was significantly higher in both atria compared to the left ventricle (A 4.90 ± 1.29% versus LV 0.62 ± 0.14% of isolated MNCs, P = 0.035). Conclusion. The atria contain a higher concentration of hCSC than the left ventricle. HCSCs located in the atria could serve as an endogenous source for heart regeneration.

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