Bone Marrow Stem Cell Can Heal A Broken Heart

A single stem cell derived from human bone marrow can heal a broken heart, states a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. According to the researchers at Tufts University, the study provides the first demonstration of a single, human stem cell population derived from the bone marrow that has the capacity to induce generation of new heart cells and formation of new blood vessels - two key components of successful myocardial repair. It is noted that myocardial infarction results in irreversible damage to the heart that can cause congestive heart failure. The lasting damage results from the limited ability of the myocardium to regenerate and self-repair. The researchers isolated the human cells at the single cell level and were able to differentiate them into all different cell types. When single human bone marrow-derived stem cells were allowed to divide to form a large population, they were transplanted into a rat model of myocardial infarction. This improved cardiac function because the cells stimulated release of growth factors and anti-apoptotic agents that, in turn, increased the proliferative potential of cardiomyocytes and enhanced survival of host myocardium. Researchers believe that the results provide a foundation on which new approaches to repair thee damaged heart can be based.

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