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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 May 2;47(9):1777-85. Epub 2006 Apr 17.

Regeneration gaps: observations on stem cells and cardiac repair.

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  • 1Center for Cardiovascular Biology and Regenerative Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA.


Substantial evidence indicates that cell transplantation can improve function of the infarcted heart. A surprisingly wide range of non-myogenic cell types improves ventricular function, suggesting that benefit may result in part from mechanisms that are distinct from true myocardial regeneration. While clinical trials explore cells derived from skeletal muscle and bone marrow, basic researchers are investigating sources of new cardiomyocytes, such as resident myocardial progenitors and embryonic stem cells. In this commentary, we briefly review the evolution of cell-based cardiac repair, discuss the current state of clinical research, and offer some thoughts on how newcomers can critically evaluate this emerging field.

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