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Implanting embryonic cardiac cells prevents arrhythmias
Date:12/5/2007

al heart contractions.

"For the first time we were able to see how cells used in therapy are working with other cells in a complex organ within a living animal, establishing the mechanism of the therapeutic effect," Kotlikoff said.

Professor Guy Salama at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine was also able to map voltage signals across the surface of the hearts, establishing that the implanted cells improve conduction of electrical signals within the damaged heart tissue.

While doctors could never use cells from a human embryonic heart for transplantation, researchers at the University of Bonn engineered skeletal muscle to express connexin43 and achieved the same restorative results as they did with the embryonic heart cells.

"These results have important implications for therapy, although they must be verified in the context of naturally occurring heart damage," Kotlikoff said. "One can envision using a patient's own cells by deriving heart cells from stem cells to improve heart function and decrease arrhythmia risk."


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Contact: Sabina Lee
SSL37@cornell.edu
607-255-3024
Cornell University Communications  
Source:Eurekalert

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