Purpose of review: The purpose of this review is to provide an update on the cardiac stem cell field with an emphasis on aging and to suggest some relevant strategies directed toward rejuvenation of the senescent heart.
Recent findings: Stem cells were long considered as a fountain of youth and were assumed to be equipped against any form of aging effect. However, it is now clear that stem cells suffer the consequences of aging as well. With the discovery that cardiac stem cells reside in the heart comes the question whether these cells are also impaired upon aging. As cardiac stem cell properties are also altered with age, autologous stem cell-based therapy to treat heart failure will benefit from new improved strategies.
Summary: With the goal to improve stem cell properties that are impaired upon aging, some strategies are highlighted. Genetic modification of adult human cardiac progenitor cells prior to autologous stem cell-based therapy, delivery of the next generation of stem cells such as CardioChimeras and CardioClusters, and improvement of the myocardial environment with rejuvenating factors constitute some of the possibilities and are discussed in more detail in this review.