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Bone marrow cell transplants to benefit those with heart disease
Date:2/24/2010

on) with important cardiovascular regulatory properties, contributes to functional improvement in patients with severe heart failure after they have undergone implantation with bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMC). The study, carried out at the Navy General Hospital in Beijing, evaluated 40 patients with severe heart failure following myocardial infarction. Twenty patients were assigned to receive BMMC transplants and 20 received standard medication. Another 20 healthy patients were assigned as controls.

"Baseline levels of plasma apelin were significantly lower in all heart failure patients as compared to normal, healthy subjects," said corresponding author Dr. Lian Ru Gao. "However, in patients who underwent cell transplantation, apelin increased significantly from three to 21 days post-transplantation. This increase in apelin was also followed by significant improvement in cardiac function."

In patients who received standard treatment, there was no increase in apelin.

According to the researchers, apelin, known to be a potent inotropic agent, was recently recognized as an important regulator of myocardial cell specification and heart development. In addition, reports that apelin concentration decreased with heart function impairment led the researchers to hypothesize that bone marrow transplantation might play a role in improving heart function by releasing apelin.

"Our objective was to assess how apelin plasma levels changed post-transplantation as well as to determine the relationship between increased apelin levels and heart function," added Dr. Gao.

Apelin levels increased in all patients who received BMMCs, and cardiac function improved as reflected by the relief of dyspnea and other measures, and so the researchers concluded that apelin signaling may play an important role in the heart function improvement observed after BMMC transplantation.

"Increased apelin levels may act as a paracrine mediator produced
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Contact: David Eve
celltransplantation@gmail.com
Cell Transplantation Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair
Source:Eurekalert

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