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Heart Failure Recovery Boosted by Stem Cells

By Alina Boey, Kansas City Infozine, January 26, 2008

The administration of adult bone marrow stem cells (BMC) and mesenchymal stems cells (MSC) can aid in the recovery of myocardial infarction (MI) - commonly known as heart attack - and consequently increase survival rates according to a study in the Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology published by Wiley-Blackwell.

The study is designed to evaluate the impact of systemic delivery of BMC and MSC on spontaneously hypertensive rats induced with MI.

Dr. Nardi, the lead author of the study called, “Systemic Delivery of Adult Stem cells Improves Cardiac Function in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats”.

He says that, "their research is the first to show this type of stem cell activity in a physiological model of MI, as we used spontaneously hypertensive rats which closely represent the disease in humans."

The treatment resulted in statistically different mortality rates - 45% for non-treated rats, 17% for rats treated with MSC, and 0% for rats treated with BSC. Significant recovery of heart capacity and function was also observed in the treated rats.

"Results suggest that injected BMC can bring about therapeutic effects, especially in tissue regeneration. It speeds up the adaptive remodeling of the heart and consequently increases survival rates", says Dr. Nardi.

Delivery methods are still under investigation despite many studies having shown the potential beneficial effects of stem cell therapies in treatment for heart failure.

Author of the editorial commentary in this issue, John Haynes says "In this issue, Nardi and co-workers have demonstrated significant improvement in cardiac function and reduction in mortality of the rats following the administration of BSC bringing us closer to unraveling the mystery of the stem cell."

The journal Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology published this paper in their February 2008 issue.


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