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Potential heart benefit found in stem cells

menstrual blood-derived endometrial cells and umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal cells show significant promise in this function.

In the first study, the team collected menstrual blood from six women to obtain a sample of endometrial cells (E-DOM). The researchers found that approximately half of the E-DOM cells contracted simultaneously, suggesting an electrical communication between the cells. Further analyses of the cells revealed appropriate cardiac gene expression and action potential, as well as sustained and significant positive cardiac troponin-1, a calcium-regulated protein in muscle tissue, and connexin 43, a protein that assists in intracellular interactions The in vitro data suggests that stem cells from this source have significant CM potential and are potentially valuable not only because they can be easily collected from young volunteers, but also because of their collection-efficacy. A single sample of the menstrual blood returns a large number of stem cells.

In a second study, the same team collected human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (UCB-MSC). In reviewing these cells, nearly all of the UCB-MSC contracted simultaneously, indicating a significant electrical communication between the cells. Again the extended analysis showed cardiac gene expression, as well as significant positive cardiac troponin-1 and connexin 43. In this study, approximately half of the stem cells were successfully transformed into cardiomyocytes (premature cardiac functioning cells) in vitro.

"We believe that by looking at these new sources for stem cells, we will eventually be able to use our own stem cells to repair our own heart dysfunctions," said Sunichiro Miyoshi, M.D., of the Keio University in Japan, and one of the lead authors of the study. "The value of finding new sources is in finding younger and stronger stem cells."

Effect of Stem Cells on Left Ventricle Wall Thickness and Capillary Density
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Source:American College of Cardiology


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