, Volume 8, Issue 9, pp 647-660

Cell therapy in congestive heart failure

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Congestive heart failure (CHF) has emerged as a major worldwide epidemic and its main causes seem to be the aging of the population and the survival of patients with post-myocardial infarction. Cardiomyocyte dropout (necrosis and apoptosis) plays a critical role in the progress of CHF; thus treatment of CHF by exogenous cell implantation will be a promising medical approach. In the acute phase of cardiac damage cardiac stem cells (CSCs) within the heart divide symmetrically and/or asymmetrically in response to the change of heart homeostasis, and at the same time homing of bone marrow stem cells (BMCs) to injured area is thought to occur, which not only reconstitutes CSC population to normal levels but also repairs the heart by differentiation into cardiac tissue. So far, basic studies by using potential sources such as BMCs and CSCs to treat animal CHF have shown improved ventricular remodelling and heart function. Recently, however, a few of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials demonstrated mixed results in heart failure with BMC therapy during acute myocardial infarction.

Project (No. 20060400200) supported by the Postdoctoral Science Foundation, China