Cho et al., Regen Med, 2006
Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Division of Cardiovascular Research, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02135, USA.
Since the first experiments of cell transplantation into the heart were performed in the early 1990s, the identification of adult stem cells has triggered attempts to regenerate damaged heart tissue by cellular transplantation. Until recently, a multitude of adult stem or progenitor cells from various tissues have been proposed to meet this end. Bone marrow in particular has emerged as the most promising source for stem and progenitor cells because, besides being the organ of hematopoietic maintenance, it contains a complex assortment of stem and progenitor cells. A large body of provocative experimental evidence for vascular and myocardial regeneration by these cells has generated further enthusiasm for their use. However, many questions remain unanswered in this new field of research regarding the therapeutic potential and the mechanisms responsible for the observed therapeutic effects. In this review, the authors discuss the therapeutic capacity of currently available representative bone marrow-derived stem and progenitor cells for treating ischemic heart diseases.