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Cell Stem Cell. 2008 Apr 10;2(4):320-31. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2008.03.010.

Lives of a heart cell: tracing the origins of cardiac progenitors.

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Cardiovascular Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 185 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114-2790, USA.


Heart cells are the unitary elements that define cardiac function and disease. The recent identification of distinct families of cardiovascular progenitor cells begins to build a foundation for our understanding of the developmental logic of human cardiovascular disease, and also points to new approaches to arrest and/or reverse its progression, a major goal of regenerative medicine. In this review, we highlight recent clarifications, revisions, and advances in our understanding of the many lives of a heart cell, with a primary focus on the emerging links between cardiogenesis and heart stem cell biology.

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