CINCINNATIUniversity of Cincinnati (UC) researchers have found that applying a stem cell-infused patch together with overexpression of a specific cell instruction molecule promoted cell migration to damaged cardiac tissue following heart attack and resulted in improved function in animal models.
The researchers also found that function improved more so than when stem cells were directly injected in heart tissuea therapy that is being studied elsewhere.
These findings are being presented for the first time at the American Heart Association's Scientific Meeting in Chicago on Nov. 15.
Researchers in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine led by Yi-Gang Wang, PhD, found that when a tri-cell patch, made up of cardiomyocytes (to restore heart contractility), endothelial cells (to build new blood vessels) and embryonic fibroblasts (to provide support to the cell structure), was applied to the surface of the damaged area of the heart, better outcomes in overall heart function resulted.
"Following myocardial infarction, better known as heart attack, tissue becomes damaged and scarred, cardiomyocytes die and heart pump function is reduced," Wang says. "There are therapies being tested by other researchers where stem cells are injected directly into damaged heart muscle to see if contractile function can be restored.
"In our current study, we wanted to determine if the amplified instructions from overexpressed miR-29, a microRNA, in animal models would enhance the effectiveness of the cell patch by reducing barriers in the infarcted area, leading to enhanced regeneration of heart tissues and resulting in the restoration of heart function after myocardial infarction."
Researchers first generated cardiac progenitor cellscells that can become various cardiac tissue cell typesfrom induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). These stem cells can differentiate into any type of cell in the body and are artificially de
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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center