Heart regeneration: 20 years of progress and renewed optimism

Dev Cell. 2022 Feb 28;57(4):424-439. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2022.01.012.


Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death worldwide, and thus there remains great interest in regenerative approaches to treat heart failure. In the past 20 years, the field of heart regeneration has entered a renaissance period with remarkable progress in the understanding of endogenous heart regeneration, stem cell differentiation for exogenous cell therapy, and cell-delivery methods. In this review, we highlight how this new understanding can lead to viable strategies for human therapy. For the near term, drugs, electrical and mechanical devices, and heart transplantation will remain mainstays of cardiac therapies, but eventually regenerative therapies based on fundamental regenerative biology may offer more permanent solutions for patients with heart failure.

Keywords: cardiomyocyte proliferation; heart regeneration; reprogramming; stem cells; tissue engineering.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Heart* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Myocardium / cytology*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology*
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Regenerative Medicine* / methods
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods