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n Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Can stem cells really regenerate the human heart? Use your noggin, dickkopf! Lessons from developmental biology : review article

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Abstract

The human heart is the first organ to develop and its development is fairly well characterised. In theory, the heart has the capacity to regenerate, as its cardiomyocytes may be capable of cell division and the adult heart contains a cardiac stem cell niche, presumably capable of differentiating into cardiomyocytes and other cardiac-associated cell types. However, as with most other organs, these mechanisms are not activated upon serious injury. Several experimental options to induce regeneration of the damaged heart tissue are available: activate the endogenous cardiomyocytes to divide, coax the endogenous population of stem cells to divide and differentiate, or add exogenous cell-based therapy to replace the lost cardiac tissue. This review is a summary of the recent research into all these avenues, discussing the reasons for the limited successes of clinical trials using stem cells after cardiac injury and explaining new advances in basic science. It concludes with a reiteration that chances of successful regeneration would be improved by understanding and implementing the basics of heart development and stem cell biology.

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/content/cardio1/24/5/EJC139219
2013-06-01
2016-12-05
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