Stem Cell Therapy for Heart Failure
- Robert E. MichlerEmail Robert E. Michler
The last decade has witnessed the publication of a large number of clinical trials primarily using bone marrow-derived stem cells as the injected cell. These “first-generation” clinical trials have advanced our understanding and shown us that (1) cell therapy is safe, (2) cell therapy has been modestly effective, and (3) in humans, bone marrow-derived stem cells do not transdifferentiate into cardiomyocytes or new blood vessels (or at least in sufficient numbers to have any effect).
The primary mechanism of action for cell therapy is now believed to be through paracrine effects that include the release of cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors that inhibit apoptosis and fibrosis, enhance contractility, and activate endogenous regenerative mechanisms through endogenous circulating or site-specific stem cells. The new direction for clinical trials includes the use of stem cells capable of cardiac lineage, such as endogenous cardiac stem cells.
- Published on 1 Oct 2013
- Peer Reviewed