Cardiac regeneration: different cells same goal

Med Biol Eng Comput. 2011 Jul;49(7):723-32. doi: 10.1007/s11517-011-0776-5. Epub 2011 Apr 16.


Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality, morbidity, hospitalization and impaired quality of life. In most, if not all, pathologic cardiac ischemia ensues triggering a succession of events leading to massive death of cardiomyocytes, fibroblast and extracellular matrix accumulation, cardiomyocyte hypertrophy which culminates in heart failure and eventually death. Though current pharmacological treatment is able to delay the succession of events and as a consequence the development of heart failure, the only currently available and effective treatment of end-stage heart failure is heart transplantation. However, donor heart availability and immunorejection upon transplantation seriously limit the applicability. Cardiac regeneration could provide a solution, making real a dream of both scientist and clinician in the previous century and ending an ongoing challenge for this century. In this review, we present a basic overview of the various cell types that have been used in both the clinical and research setting with respect to myocardial differentiation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / methods
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods