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World J Transplant. 2013 Dec 24;3(4):119-26. doi: 10.5500/wjt.v3.i4.119.

Preclinical stem cell therapy in Chagas Disease: Perspectives for future research.

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  • 1Katherine Athayde Teixeira de Carvalho, Ana Carolina Irioda, Cell Therapy and Biotechnology in Regenerative Medicine Research Group, Pequeno Príncipe Faculty, Pelé Pequeno Príncipe Institute, Curitiba 80250-200, Paraná, Brazil.


Chagas cardiomyopathy still remains a challenging problem that is responsible for high morbidity and mortality in Central and Latin America. Chagas disease disrupts blood microcirculation via various autoimmune mechanisms, causing loss of cardiomyocytes and severe impairment of heart function. Different cell types and delivery approaches in Chagas Disease have been studied in both preclinical models and clinical trials. The main objective of this article is to clarify the reasons why the benefits that have been seen with cell therapy in preclinical models fail to translate to the clinical setting. This can be explained by crucial differences between the cellular types and pathophysiological mechanisms of the disease, as well as the differences between human patients and animal models. We discuss examples that demonstrate how the results from preclinical trials might have overestimated the efficacy of myocardial regeneration therapies. Future research should focus, not only on studying the best cell type to use but, very importantly, understanding the levels of safety and cellular interaction that can elicit efficient therapeutic effects in human tissue. Addressing the challenges associated with future research may ensure the success of stem cell therapy in improving preclinical models and the treatment of Chagas disease.


Chagas Disease; Co-cultured; Myoblasts; Pathophysiologie; Preclinical; Stem cell; Therapy; Translation

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