(Philadelphia, PA) - Many people who survive a heart attack find themselves back in the hospital with a failing heart just years later. And the outcome often is unfavorable, owing to limited treatment options. But scientists at Temple University School of Medicine's Cardiovascular Research Center (CVRC) recently found hope in an unlikely source stem cells in cortical, or compact, bone. In a new study, they show that when it comes to the regeneration of heart tissue, these novel bone-derived cells do a better job than the heart's own stem cells.
According to the study's senior investigator, Steven R. Houser, Ph.D., FAHA, Chairperson of Temple's Department of Physiology and Director of the CVRC, it is early days for cortical bone-derived stem cells (CBSCs). Nonetheless, his team's findings, featured on the cover of the August 16th issue of Circulation Research, have considerable implications for stem cell therapy for the heart.
A major challenge in the treatment of heart attack is early intervention, which is key to reducing the chances for long-term complications, such as heart failure. When it comes to stem cells, Houser said, "The strategy is to inject the cells right after [a heart attack]." Currently, though, that approach works only in animal studies. To make it work in humans, Houser explained, "we need cells right off the rack and ready to go clinically."
CBSCs could be those cells. Stem cells are youthful by degrees, and CBSCs are considered some of the most pluripotent like human newborns, nave and ready to become anything. But while CBSCs and similarly pluripotent stem cells retain the ability to develop into any cell type needed by the body and sometimes bring their youthful energy to the aid of mature cells making them especially appealing for therapeutics they also have the potential to wander off course, possibly landing themselves in unintended tissues. Cardiac stem cells, on the other hand, are a little more
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Temple University Health System