Empowering Adult Stem Cells for Myocardial Regeneration V2.0: Success in Small Steps

Circ Res. 2016 Mar 4;118(5):867-80. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.305227.


Much has changed since our survey of the landscape for myocardial regeneration powered by adult stem cells 4 years ago.(1) The intervening years since that first review has witnessed an explosive expansion of studies that advance both understanding and implementation of adult stem cells in promoting myocardial repair. Painstaking research from innumerable laboratories throughout the world is prying open doors that may lead to restoration of myocardial structure and function in the wake of pathological injury. This global effort has produced deeper mechanistic comprehension coupled with an evolving appreciation for the complexity of myocardial regeneration in the adult context. Undaunted by both known and (as yet) unknown challenges, pursuit of myocardial regenerative medicine mediated by adult stem cell therapy has gathered momentum fueled by tantalizing clues and visionary goals. This concise review takes a somewhat different perspective than our initial treatise, taking stock of the business sector that has become an integral part of the field while concurrently updating state of affairs in cutting edge research. Looking retrospectively at advancement over the years as all reviews eventually must, the fundamental lesson to be learned is best explained by Jonatan Mårtensson: "Success will never be a big step in the future. Success is a small step taken just now."

Keywords: adult stem cells; cardiovascular disease; clinical trial; myocardium; therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adult Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Myocardium / cytology*
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / trends*