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Congest Heart Fail. 2005 Mar-Apr;11(2):87-91; quiz 92-3.

Mesenchymal stem cells: future source for reparative medicine.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology and Institute for Cell Engineering (ICE), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Current treatments for ischemic cardiomyopathy are aimed toward minimizing the deleterious consequences of damaged myocardium. The possibility of treating heart failure by generating new myocardium and vascular structures has provided major impetus for recent stem cell research. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), also referred to as marrow stromal cells, differentiate into a wide variety of lineages, including myocardial smooth muscle and possibly endothelial cells. The multilineage potential of MSCs, their ability to elude detection by the host's immune system, and their relative ease of expansion in culture make MSCs a very promising source of stem cells for transplantation. This paper reviews animal and human trials studying the role of MSCs in cardiomyogenesis and vasculogenesis in postinfarct myocardium, factors that stimulate MSC differentiation, routes of MSC delivery, and methods of detecting MSC engraftment.

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