Cardiac recovery by stem and progenitor cells
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The adult human heart has a minimal ability to regenerate myocardium. Therefore, loss of viable cardiomyocytes in cardiac disease, such as myocardial infarction (MI), may lead to heart failure. After evaluating the regenerative potential of several stem cell sources of cardiac myocytes and vascular cells (chapter 2), we created a mouse model of MI and cell transplantation which allows long-term phenotypical analysis of engrafted human stem and progenitor cells, and used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to monitor cardiac function (chapter 3). We thus performed the first long-term study of human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hESCCM) in uninjured and infarcted mouse hearts, and found that hESC-CM survive, integrate and mature in the host myocardium for at least 12 weeks.