Regenerating functional myocardium: improved performance after skeletal myoblast transplantation

Nat Med. 1998 Aug;4(8):929-33. doi: 10.1038/nm0898-929.


The adult heart lacks reserve cardiocytes and cannot regenerate. Therefore, a large acute myocardial infarction often develops into congestive heart failure. To attempt to prevent this progression, we transplanted skeletal myoblasts into cryoinfarcted myocardium of the same rabbits (autologous transfer), monitored cardiac function in vivo for two to six weeks and examined serial sections of the hearts by light and electron microscopy. Islands of different sizes comprising elongated, striated cells that retained characteristics of both skeletal and cardiac cells were found in the cryoinfarct. In rabbits in which myoblasts were incorporated, myocardial performance was improved. The ability to regenerate functioning muscle after autologous myoblast transplantation could have a important effect on patients after acute myocardial infarction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transplantation*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Freezing
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / ultrastructure
  • Myocardial Infarction / pathology
  • Myocardial Infarction / surgery*
  • Myocardium / cytology*
  • Myocardium / ultrastructure
  • Rabbits
  • Regeneration*