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STEM CELLS Translational Medicine

Clinical Articles, News & Views

Stem cells reduce heart attack’s ripple effect

Stem cells may significantly reduce the ripple-effect damage caused by myocardial infarction, according to a study1 published recently in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.

Using pre-clinical models, researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore treated half of the group with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and left the other half untreated. Each subject receiving the MSCs was treated with allogeneic stem cells to prevent rejection. The MSCs were collected from the bone marrow, then modified in the lab before being re-transplanted using a series of six injections. MSCs were employed because they give rise to a variety of cell types.

Three months later, they examined the results. “Along with protecting the adjacent area from structural damage and strain, the MSCs prevented other common side effects of a heart attack including cardiac hypertrophy, or enlargement, which is generally the result of an imbalance in calcium brought on by an attack. They also reduced cardiac apoptosis in which the heart cells basically commit suicide,” said lead author Professor Bartley P. Griffith, (University of Maryland School of Medicine, US).

“We believe the study provides an important view into how MSC transplantation may benefit the region adjacent to the heart attack site”, said Professor Griffith, who added that the results “merit further investigation”.


1. Zhao Y, Li T, Wei X, et al. Mesenchymal stem cell transplantation improves regional cardiac remodeling following ovine infarction. STEM CELLS Translational Medicine 2012;1.

Published on: September 27, 2012

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  • ArrhythmiaAlliance
  • Stars
  • Anticoagulation Europe
  • Atrial Fibrillation Association

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