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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2007 May;42(5):912-20. Epub 2007 Feb 14.

Umbilical cord blood stem cells: implications for cardiovascular regenerative medicine.

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Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44106-7284, USA.


The treatment of cardiovascular disease has benefited from advances in pharmacologic and intravascular intervention reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with this disease. To address the need in managing clinically complex vascular disease with limited therapeutic options studies have focused on cellular therapy as a means to augment compensatory mechanisms and to potentially prevent escalation and advancement of disease. Umbilical cord blood (UCB) is a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and thus may be a potential source of cells for this type of therapy. UCB can be collected at no risk to the donor, is immediately available, has a wider availability of HLA phenotypes with a possible lower immune reactivity and does not provoke ethically charged debates. Moreover, stem cells isolated from patients with chronic disease have impairment of their reparative abilities thus limiting their therapeutic impact. The potential of UCB HSC in augmenting this process has been studied extensively both in vitro and in vivo and has shown a benefit in acute and chronic vascular ischemia. Although studies suggest efficacy with no obvious safety concerns the mechanism for this therapeutic effect is unknown.

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