Lee et al., Cell Cycle, 2005
Division of Cardiovascular Research, Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02135, USA.
Congestive heart failure is a growing, worldwide epidemic. The major causes of heart failure are related to irreversible damage resulting from myocardial infarction (heart attack). The long-standing axiom has been that the myocardium has a limited capacity for self-repair or regeneration; and the irreversible loss of cardiac muscle and accompanying contraction and fibrosis of myocardial scar tissue, sets into play a series of events, namely, progressive ventricular remodeling of nonischemic myocardium that ultimately leads to progressive heart failure. The loss of cardiomyocyte survival cues is associated with diverse pathways for heart failure, underscoring the importance of maintaining the number of viable cardiomyocytes during heart failure progression. Currently, no medication or procedure used clinically has shown efficacy in replacing the myocardial scar with functioning contractile tissue. Therefore, given the major morbidity and mortality associated with myocardial infarction and heart failure, new approaches have been sought to address the principal pathophysiologic deficits responsible for these conditions, resulting from the loss of cardiomyocytes and viable blood vessels. Recently, the identification of stem cells from bone marrow capable of contributing to tissue regeneration has ignited significant interest in the possibility that cell therapy could be employed therapeutically for the repair of damaged myocardium. In this review, we will discuss the currently available bone marrow-derived stem progenitor cells for myocardial repair and focus on the advantages of using recently identified novel bone marrow-derived multipotent stem cells (BMSC).