Stem Cell Study in Mice Offers Hope for Treating Heart Attack Patients – Video

By Dr. Matthew Watson



08-02-2012 01:41 A UCSF stem cell study conducted in mice suggests a novel strategy for treating damaged cardiac tissue in patients following a heart attack. The approach potentially could improve cardiac function, minimize scar size, lead to the development of new blood vessels -- and avoid the risk of tissue rejection. In the investigation, reported online in the journal PLoS ONE, the researchers isolated and characterized a novel type of cardiac stem cell from the heart tissue of middle-aged mice following a heart attack. Then, in one experiment, they placed the cells in the culture dish and showed they had the ability to differentiate into cardiomyocytes, or "beating heart cells," as well as endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells, all of which make up the heart. In another, they made copies, or "clones," of the cells and engrafted them in the tissue of the mice who had had the heart attacks. The cells induced angiogenesis, or blood vessel growth, or differentiated, or specialized, into endothelial and smooth muscle cells, improving cardiac function. Because the cells were transplanted back into the mice from which they originated, the body did not reject them.

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Stem Cell Study in Mice Offers Hope for Treating Heart Attack Patients - Video

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