Heart regeneration: what cells to use and how?
Tousoulis D., Briasoulis A., Antoniades C., Stefanadi E., Stefanadis C.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death in modern societies. Recent achievements in the treatment of CAD including statins, ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, and interventional procedure improved the outcome of patients with CAD, but this conventional approach failed to control cardiovascular mortality. Nowadays, cells (stem cells) and their potential role in managing patients with heart disease is a field of intensive research. Various types of cells have been used for transplantation targeting heart regeneration, including bone marrow cells (BMCs), cardiac stem cells (CSCs), endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), skeletal myoblasts (SMs), adipose stroma tissue cells (ATSCs), mesenchymal cells (MCs), and embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Several routes have been used to deliver these cells to human myocardium or to the coronary circulation such as, intracoronary injection, intravenous infusion, direct injection into the ventricular wall, or transepicardial/transendocardial infusions. Although the results of the recent clinical trials in this area are rather conflicting, these therapeutic approaches seem to be promising for the treatment of ischemic heart disease.