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Transplanted adult stem cells provide lasting help to injured hearts
Date:5/7/2010

li> This improvement was the result of increased blood vessel formation in and around the injured area, or paracrine signaling by the stem cells to other nearby cells, rather than formation of new heart muscle. Using an antibody technique developed by Yeh and colleagues, the team found that antibodies that blocked formation of new blood vessels completely negated the treatment benefit while antibodies that blocked heart muscle cell formation had no effect.

Ventricular ejection fraction measures the percentage of blood pumped from the heart at each contraction and is one of the most important measures of how the heart functions, Yeh said. LVEF normally is around 55 to 60 percent. Some cancer chemotherapies weaken the heart. "Oncologists pay very close attention to the ejection fraction in their patients, because when it drops, they won't give chemotherapy," Yeh said.

Multiple imaging methods pinpoint location, performance of transplanted stem cells

Developing and refining non-invasive monitoring of the heart is important for cancer patients, said senior co-author Juri Gelovani, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of MD Anderson's Department of Experimental Diagnostic Imaging.

"We need to develop methods for non-invasive monitoring by molecular-genetic and functional imaging of the fate of transplanted stem cells as they contribute regeneration of cardiac tissues and recovery of the heart's contractile function" Gelovani said. "We want to give the gift of sight to an otherwise very blind area of stem cell transplantation research."

After tying off an artery to the heart to induce a heart attack in the mice, the team then injected the mouse CD34+ cells around the damaged area in the treatment cohort. Before injection, a triple-fusion reporter gene was introduced via retrovirus into the CD34+ cells. The triple-fusion reporter allows for visualization of the stem cells using three different imaging methods after
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Contact: Scott Merville
smerville@mdanderson.org
713-792-0661
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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