Clinical & Experimental Cardiology

Clinical & Experimental Cardiology
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9880

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Endogenous Cardiac Stem Cell Therapy for Ischemic Heart Failure

Lien-Cheng Hsiao and Carolyn Carr

Cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of morbidity and mortality in the world. With great advances in medical and interventional therapies, patients who suffer from acute myocardial infarction have a longer life expectancy than before, but gradually develop chronic heart failure in their later life due to irreversible loss of cardiomyocytes. So far, heart transplantation is the only therapeutic option for advanced heart failure. However, the shortage of donor organs largely limits its role as the gold standard therapy. In the past decades, stem cell-based regenerative medicine has been proposed as a promising approach for the treatment of heart failure based on numerous animal studies. A variety of potential stem cell types, including skeletal myoblasts and bone marrowderived stem cells, have been investigated in clinical trials for cardiac repair and regeneration, but have shown mixed results in heart functional improvement or life-threatening disadvantages such as ventricular arrhythmia. On the other hand, due to the advantages of autologous origin and cardiac-committed lineage, cardiac stem cell therapy has emerged as a promising cell-based strategy for treatment of HF. Thus, this review discusses the current therapies for heart failure and further focuses on stem cell therapy using different endogenous cardiac stem cells, purified by stem cell surface markers (e.g., c-kit or Sca-1) or derived from explants via the formation of cardiospheres. In addition, the potential effect of patient age on cell-based therapy for heart disease is discussed.