, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 266-280
Date: 16 Feb 2012

Cardiac Cell Therapy: Boosting Mesenchymal Stem Cells Effects

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Abstract

Acute myocardial infarction is a major problem of world public health and available treatments have limited efficacy. Cardiac cell therapy is a new therapeutic strategy focused on regeneration and repair of the injured cardiac muscle. Among different cell types used, mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have been widely tested in preclinical studies and several clinical trials have evaluated their clinical efficacy in myocardial infarction. However, the beneficial effects of MSC in humans are limited due to poor engraftment and survival of these cells, therefore ways to overcome these obstacles should improve efficacy. Different strategies have been used, such as genetically modifying MSC, or preconditioning the cells with factors that potentiate their survival and therapeutic mechanisms. In this review we compile the most relevant approaches used to improve MSC therapeutic capacity and to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in MSC mediated cardiac repair.