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Stem Cell Res. 2014 Nov;13(3 Pt B):523-31. doi: 10.1016/j.scr.2014.07.002. Epub 2014 Jul 16.

Cardiac regeneration in vivo: mending the heart from within?

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Karolinska Institute, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address:
Spectrum Health Frederik Meijer Heart & Vascular Institute, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, USA; Van Andel Institute, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, USA; Stem Cell Center, Lund University, SE-221 84 Lund, Sweden.


A growing body of evidence has shown that the heart is not terminally differentiated but continues to renew its cardiomyocytes even after the neonatal period. This new view of the heart increases hope for changing the strategy for treating cardiac injuries toward regenerative approaches. However, the magnitude and clinical significance of this process in homeostasis and disease and the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms have been heavily debated. Numerous candidates for so-called cardiac stem cells (CSCs) have been proposed, but the different characteristics of these candidates make it difficult to identify the inherent source of regeneration. In this review, we revisit the field of cardiac stem cells and endogenous regeneration to elaborate how these fields may contribute to future regenerative strategies.

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