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Archive for the ‘Cardiac Stem Cells’ Category

Cardiac stem cells rejuvenate rats’ aging hearts … – CNN

The old rats appeared newly invigorated after receiving their injections. As hoped, the cardiac stem cells improved heart function yet also provided additional benefits. The rats’ fur fur, shaved for surgery, grew back more quickly than expected, and their chromosomal telomeres, which commonly shrink with age, lengthened.

The old rats receiving the cardiac stem cells also had increased stamina overall, exercising more than before the infusion.

“It’s extremely exciting,” said Dr. Eduardo Marbn, primary investigator on the research and director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. Witnessing “the systemic rejuvenating effects,” he said, “it’s kind of like an unexpected fountain of youth.”

“We’ve been studying new forms of cell therapy for the heart for some 12 years now,” Marbn said.

Some of this research has focused on cardiosphere-derived cells.

“They’re progenitor cells from the heart itself,” Marbn said. Progenitor cells are generated from stem cells and share some, but not all, of the same properties. For instance, they can differentiate into more than one kind of cell like stem cells, but unlike stem cells, progenitor cells cannot divide and reproduce indefinitely.

Since heart failure with preserved ejection fraction is similar to aging, Marbn decided to experiment on old rats, ones that suffered from a type of heart problem “that’s very typical of what we find in older human beings: The heart’s stiff, and it doesn’t relax right, and it causes fluid to back up some,” Marbn explained.

He and his team injected cardiosphere-derived cells from newborn rats into the hearts of 22-month-old rats — that’s elderly for a rat. Similar old rats received a placebo injection of saline solution. Then, Marbn and his team compared both groups to young rats that were 4 months old. After a month, they compared the rats again.

Even though the cells were injected into the heart, their effects were noticeable throughout the body, Marbn said

“The animals could exercise further than they could before by about 20%, and one of the most striking things, especially for me (because I’m kind of losing my hair) the animals … regrew their fur a lot better after they’d gotten cells” compared with the placebo rats, Marbn said.

The rats that received cardiosphere-derived cells also experienced improved heart function and showed longer heart cell telomeres.

Why did it work?

The working hypothesis is that the cells secrete exosomes, tiny vesicles that “contain a lot of nucleic acids, things like RNA, that can change patterns of the way the tissue responds to injury and the way genes are expressed in the tissue,” Marbn said.

It is the exosomes that act on the heart and make it better as well as mediating long-distance effects on exercise capacity and hair regrowth, he explained.

Looking to the future, Marbn said he’s begun to explore delivering the cardiac stem cells intravenously in a simple infusion — instead of injecting them directly into the heart, which would be a complex procedure for a human patient — and seeing whether the same beneficial effects occur.

Dr. Gary Gerstenblith, a professor of medicine in the cardiology division of Johns Hopkins Medicine, said the new study is “very comprehensive.”

“Striking benefits are demonstrated not only from a cardiac perspective but across multiple organ systems,” said Gerstenblith, who did not contribute to the new research. “The results suggest that stem cell therapies should be studied as an additional therapeutic option in the treatment of cardiac and other diseases common in the elderly.”

Todd Herron, director of the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center’s Cardiovascular Regeneration Core Laboratory, said Marbn, with his previous work with cardiac stem cells, has “led the field in this area.”

“The novelty of this bit of work is, they started to look at more precise molecular mechanisms to explain the phenomenon they’ve seen in the past,” said Herron, who played no role in the new research.

One strength of the approach here is that the researchers have taken cells “from the organ that they want to rejuvenate, so that makes it likely that the cells stay there in that tissue,” Herron said.

He believes that more extensive study, beginning with larger animals and including long-term followup, is needed before this technique could be used in humans.

“We need to make sure there’s no harm being done,” Herron said, adding that extending the lifetime and improving quality of life amounts to “a tradeoff between the potential risk and the potential good that can be done.”

Capicor hasn’t announced any plans to do studies in aging, but the possibility exists.

After all, the cells have been proven “completely safe” in “over 100 human patients,” so it would be possible to fast-track them into the clinic, Marbn explained: “I can’t tell you that there are any plans to do that, but it could easily be done from a safety viewpoint.”

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Cardiac stem cells rejuvenate rats’ aging hearts … – CNN

stem cell | Definition, Types, Uses, Research, & Facts …

Stem cell, an undifferentiated cell that can divide to produce some offspring cells that continue as stem cells and some cells that are destined to differentiate (become specialized). Stem cells are an ongoing source of the differentiated cells that make up the tissues and organs of animals and plants. There is great interest in stem cells because they have potential in the development of therapies for replacing defective or damaged cells resulting from a variety of disorders and injuries, such as Parkinson disease, heart disease, and diabetes. There are two major types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells, which are also called tissue stem cells.

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cardiovascular disease: Cardiac stem cells

Cardiac stem cells, which have the ability to differentiate (specialize) into mature heart cells and therefore could be used to repair damaged or diseased heart tissue, have garnered significant interest in the development of treatments for heart disease and cardiac defects. Cardiac stem

Embryonic stem cells (often referred to as ES cells) are stem cells that are derived from the inner cell mass of a mammalian embryo at a very early stage of development, when it is composed of a hollow sphere of dividing cells (a blastocyst). Embryonic stem cells from human embryos and from embryos of certain other mammalian species can be grown in tissue culture.

The most-studied embryonic stem cells are mouse embryonic stem cells, which were first reported in 1981. This type of stem cell can be cultured indefinitely in the presence of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), a glycoprotein cytokine. If cultured mouse embryonic stem cells are injected into an early mouse embryo at the blastocyst stage, they will become integrated into the embryo and produce cells that differentiate into most or all of the tissue types that subsequently develop. This ability to repopulate mouse embryos is the key defining feature of embryonic stem cells, and because of it they are considered to be pluripotentthat is, able to give rise to any cell type of the adult organism. If the embryonic stem cells are kept in culture in the absence of LIF, they will differentiate into embryoid bodies, which somewhat resemble early mouse embryos at the egg-cylinder stage, with embryonic stem cells inside an outer layer of endoderm. If embryonic stem cells are grafted into an adult mouse, they will develop into a type of tumour called a teratoma, which contains a variety of differentiated tissue types.

Mouse embryonic stem cells are widely used to create genetically modified mice. This is done by introducing new genes into embryonic stem cells in tissue culture, selecting the particular genetic variant that is desired, and then inserting the genetically modified cells into mouse embryos. The resulting chimeric mice are composed partly of host cells and partly of the donor embryonic stem cells. As long as some of the chimeric mice have germ cells (sperm or eggs) that have been derived from the embryonic stem cells, it is possible to breed a line of mice that have the same genetic constitution as the embryonic stem cells and therefore incorporate the genetic modification that was made in vitro. This method has been used to produce thousands of new genetic lines of mice. In many such genetic lines, individual genes have been ablated in order to study their biological function; in others, genes have been introduced that have the same mutations that are found in various human genetic diseases. These mouse models for human disease are used in research to investigate both the pathology of the disease and new methods for therapy.

Extensive experience with mouse embryonic stem cells made it possible for scientists to grow human embryonic stem cells from early human embryos, and the first human stem cell line was created in 1998. Human embryonic stem cells are in many respects similar to mouse embryonic stem cells, but they do not require LIF for their maintenance. The human embryonic stem cells form a wide variety of differentiated tissues in vitro, and they form teratomas when grafted into immunosuppressed mice. It is not known whether the cells can colonize all the tissues of a human embryo, but it is presumed from their other properties that they are indeed pluripotent cells, and they therefore are regarded as a possible source of differentiated cells for cell therapythe replacement of a patients defective cell type with healthy cells. Large quantities of cells, such as dopamine-secreting neurons for the treatment of Parkinson disease and insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells for the treatment of diabetes, could be produced from embryonic stem cells for cell transplantation. Cells for this purpose have previously been obtainable only from sources in very limited supply, such as the pancreatic beta cells obtained from the cadavers of human organ donors.

The use of human embryonic stem cells evokes ethical concerns, because the blastocyst-stage embryos are destroyed in the process of obtaining the stem cells. The embryos from which stem cells have been obtained are produced through in vitro fertilization, and people who consider preimplantation human embryos to be human beings generally believe that such work is morally wrong. Others accept it because they regard the blastocysts to be simply balls of cells, and human cells used in laboratories have not previously been accorded any special moral or legal status. Moreover, it is known that none of the cells of the inner cell mass are exclusively destined to become part of the embryo itselfall of the cells contribute some or all of their cell offspring to the placenta, which also has not been accorded any special legal status. The divergence of views on this issue is illustrated by the fact that the use of human embryonic stem cells is allowed in some countries and prohibited in others.

In 2009 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first clinical trial designed to test a human embryonic stem cell-based therapy, but the trial was halted in late 2011 because of a lack of funding and a change in lead American biotech company Gerons business directives. The therapy to be tested was known as GRNOPC1, which consisted of progenitor cells (partially differentiated cells) that, once inside the body, matured into neural cells known as oligodendrocytes. The oligodendrocyte progenitors of GRNOPC1 were derived from human embryonic stem cells. The therapy was designed for the restoration of nerve function in persons suffering from acute spinal cord injury.

Embryonic germ (EG) cells, derived from primordial germ cells found in the gonadal ridge of a late embryo, have many of the properties of embryonic stem cells. The primordial germ cells in an embryo develop into stem cells that in an adult generate the reproductive gametes (sperm or eggs). In mice and humans it is possible to grow embryonic germ cells in tissue culture with the appropriate growth factorsnamely, LIF and another cytokine called fibroblast growth factor.

Some tissues in the adult body, such as the epidermis of the skin, the lining of the small intestine, and bone marrow, undergo continuous cellular turnover. They contain stem cells, which persist indefinitely, and a much larger number of transit amplifying cells, which arise from the stem cells and divide a finite number of times until they become differentiated. The stem cells exist in niches formed by other cells, which secrete substances that keep the stem cells alive and active. Some types of tissue, such as liver tissue, show minimal cell division or undergo cell division only when injured. In such tissues there is probably no special stem-cell population, and any cell can participate in tissue regeneration when required.

The epidermis of the skin contains layers of cells called keratinocytes. Only the basal layer, next to the dermis, contains cells that divide. A number of these cells are stem cells, but the majority are transit amplifying cells. The keratinocytes slowly move outward through the epidermis as they mature, and they eventually die and are sloughed off at the surface of the skin. The epithelium of the small intestine forms projections called villi, which are interspersed with small pits called crypts. The dividing cells are located in the crypts, with the stem cells lying near the base of each crypt. Cells are continuously produced in the crypts, migrate onto the villi, and are eventually shed into the lumen of the intestine. As they migrate, they differentiate into the cell types characteristic of the intestinal epithelium.

Bone marrow contains cells called hematopoietic stem cells, which generate all the cell types of the blood and the immune system. Hematopoietic stem cells are also found in small numbers in peripheral blood and in larger numbers in umbilical cord blood. In bone marrow, hematopoietic stem cells are anchored to osteoblasts of the trabecular bone and to blood vessels. They generate progeny that can become lymphocytes, granulocytes, red blood cells, and certain other cell types, depending on the balance of growth factors in their immediate environment.

Work with experimental animals has shown that transplants of hematopoietic stem cells can occasionally colonize other tissues, with the transplanted cells becoming neurons, muscle cells, or epithelia. The degree to which transplanted hematopoietic stem cells are able to colonize other tissues is exceedingly small. Despite this, the use of hematopoietic stem cell transplants is being explored for conditions such as heart disease or autoimmune disorders. It is an especially attractive option for those opposed to the use of embryonic stem cells.

Bone marrow transplants (also known as bone marrow grafts) represent a type of stem cell therapy that is in common use. They are used to allow cancer patients to survive otherwise lethal doses of radiation therapy or chemotherapy that destroy the stem cells in bone marrow. For this procedure, the patients own marrow is harvested before the cancer treatment and is then reinfused into the body after treatment. The hematopoietic stem cells of the transplant colonize the damaged marrow and eventually repopulate the blood and the immune system with functional cells. Bone marrow transplants are also often carried out between individuals (allograft). In this case the grafted marrow has some beneficial antitumour effect. Risks associated with bone marrow allografts include rejection of the graft by the patients immune system and reaction of immune cells of the graft against the patients tissues (graft-versus-host disease).

Bone marrow is a source for mesenchymal stem cells (sometimes called marrow stromal cells, or MSCs), which are precursors to non-hematopoietic stem cells that have the potential to differentiate into several different types of cells, including cells that form bone, muscle, and connective tissue. In cell cultures, bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells demonstrate pluripotency when exposed to substances that influence cell differentiation. Harnessing these pluripotent properties has become highly valuable in the generation of transplantable tissues and organs. In 2008 scientists used mesenchymal stem cells to bioengineer a section of trachea that was transplanted into a woman whose upper airway had been severely damaged by tuberculosis. The stem cells were derived from the womans bone marrow, cultured in a laboratory, and used for tissue engineering. In the engineering process, a donor trachea was stripped of its interior and exterior cell linings, leaving behind a trachea scaffold of connective tissue. The stem cells derived from the recipient were then used to recolonize the interior of the scaffold, and normal epithelial cells, also isolated from the recipient, were used to recolonize the exterior of the trachea. The use of the recipients own cells to populate the trachea scaffold prevented immune rejection and eliminated the need for immunosuppression therapy. The transplant, which was successful, was the first of its kind.

Research has shown that there are also stem cells in the brain. In mammals very few new neurons are formed after birth, but some neurons in the olfactory bulbs and in the hippocampus are continually being formed. These neurons arise from neural stem cells, which can be cultured in vitro in the form of neurospheressmall cell clusters that contain stem cells and some of their progeny. This type of stem cell is being studied for use in cell therapy to treat Parkinson disease and other forms of neurodegeneration or traumatic damage to the central nervous system.

Following experiments in animals, including those used to create Dolly the sheep, there has been much discussion about the use of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) to create pluripotent human cells. In SCNT the nucleus of a somatic cell (a fully differentiated cell, excluding germ cells), which contains the majority of the cells DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), is removed and transferred into an unfertilized egg cell that has had its own nuclear DNA removed. The egg cell is grown in culture until it reaches the blastocyst stage. The inner cell mass is then removed from the egg, and the cells are grown in culture to form an embryonic stem cell line (generations of cells originating from the same group of parent cells). These cells can then be stimulated to differentiate into various types of cells needed for transplantation. Since these cells would be genetically identical to the original donor, they could be used to treat the donor with no problems of immune rejection. Scientists generated human embryonic stem cells successfully from SCNT human embryos for the first time in 2013.

While promising, the generation and use of SCNT-derived embryonic stem cells is controversial for several reasons. One is that SCNT can require more than a dozen eggs before one egg successfully produces embryonic stem cells. Human eggs are in short supply, and there are many legal and ethical problems associated with egg donation. There are also unknown risks involved with transplanting SCNT-derived stem cells into humans, because the mechanism by which the unfertilized egg is able to reprogram the nuclear DNA of a differentiated cell is not entirely understood. In addition, SCNT is commonly used to produce clones of animals (such as Dolly). Although the cloning of humans is currently illegal throughout the world, the egg cell that contains nuclear DNA from an adult cell could in theory be implanted into a womans uterus and come to term as an actual cloned human. Thus, there exists strong opposition among some groups to the use of SCNT to generate human embryonic stem cells.

Due to the ethical and moral issues surrounding the use of embryonic stem cells, scientists have searched for ways to reprogram adult somatic cells. Studies of cell fusion, in which differentiated adult somatic cells grown in culture with embryonic stem cells fuse with the stem cells and acquire embryonic stem-cell-like properties, led to the idea that specific genes could reprogram differentiated adult cells. An advantage of cell fusion is that it relies on existing embryonic stem cells instead of eggs. However, fused cells stimulate an immune response when transplanted into humans, which leads to transplant rejection. As a result, research has become increasingly focused on the genes and proteins capable of reprogramming adult cells to a pluripotent state. In order to make adult cells pluripotent without fusing them to embryonic stem cells, regulatory genes that induce pluripotency must be introduced into the nuclei of adult cells. To do this, adult cells are grown in cell culture, and specific combinations of regulatory genes are inserted into retroviruses (viruses that convert RNA [ribonucleic acid] into DNA), which are then introduced to the culture medium. The retroviruses transport the RNA of the regulatory genes into the nuclei of the adult cells, where the genes are then incorporated into the DNA of the cells. About 1 out of every 10,000 cells acquires embryonic stem cell properties. Although the mechanism is still uncertain, it is clear that some of the genes confer embryonic stem cell properties by means of the regulation of numerous other genes. Adult cells that become reprogrammed in this way are known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS).

Similar to embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells can be stimulated to differentiate into select types of cells that could in principle be used for disease-specific treatments. In addition, the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from the adult cells of patients affected by genetic diseases can be used to model the diseases in the laboratory. For example, in 2008 researchers isolated skin cells from a child with an inherited neurological disease called spinal muscular atrophy and then reprogrammed these cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. The reprogrammed cells retained the disease genotype of the adult cells and were stimulated to differentiate into motor neurons that displayed functional insufficiencies associated with spinal muscular atrophy. By recapitulating the disease in the laboratory, scientists were able to study closely the cellular changes that occurred as the disease progressed. Such models promise not only to improve scientists understanding of genetic diseases but also to facilitate the development of new therapeutic strategies tailored to each type of genetic disease.

In 2009 scientists successfully generated retinal cells of the human eye by reprogramming adult skin cells. This advance enabled detailed investigation of the embryonic development of retinal cells and opened avenues for the generation of novel therapies for eye diseases. The production of retinal cells from reprogrammed skin cells may be particularly useful in the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa, which is characterized by the progressive degeneration of the retina, eventually leading to night blindness and other complications of vision. Although retinal cells also have been produced from human embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotency represents a less controversial approach. Scientists have also explored the possibility of combining induced pluripotent stem cell technology with gene therapy, which would be of value particularly for patients with genetic disease who would benefit from autologous transplantation.

Researchers have also been able to generate cardiac stem cells for the treatment of certain forms of heart disease through the process of dedifferentiation, in which mature heart cells are stimulated to revert to stem cells. The first attempt at the transplantation of autologous cardiac stem cells was performed in 2009, when doctors isolated heart tissue from a patient, cultured the tissue in a laboratory, stimulated cell dedifferentiation, and then reinfused the cardiac stem cells directly into the patients heart. A similar study involving 14 patients who underwent cardiac bypass surgery followed by cardiac stem cell transplantation was reported in 2011. More than three months after stem cell transplantation, the patients experienced a slight but detectable improvement in heart function.

Patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells and dedifferentiated cells are highly valuable in terms of their therapeutic applications because they are unlikely to be rejected by the immune system. However, before induced pluripotent stem cells can be used to treat human diseases, researchers must find a way to introduce the active reprogramming genes without using retroviruses, which can cause diseases such as leukemia in humans. A possible alternative to the use of retroviruses to transport regulatory genes into the nuclei of adult cells is the use of plasmids, which are less tumourigenic than viruses.

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stem cell | Definition, Types, Uses, Research, & Facts …

Adult Cardiac Stem Cells Don’t Exist: Study | The …

Cardiac stem cell research has a turbulent history. Studies revealing the presence of regenerative progenitors in adult rodents hearts formed the basis of numerous clinical trials, but several experiments have cast doubt on these cells ability to produce new tissue. Some scientists are now lauding the results of a report published in April in Circulation as undeniable evidence against the idea that resident stem cells can give rise to new cardiomyocytes.

The concept of [many] clinical trials arose from the basic science in labs of a few individuals more than 15 years ago, and that basic science is whats now being called into question, says Jeffery Molkentin, a cardiovascular biologist at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital who penned an editorial about the latest work.

The first evidence supporting the notion of cardiac stem cells in adults emerged in the early 2000s, when researchers reported that cells derived from bone marrow or adult heart expressing the protein c-kit could give rise to new muscle tissue when injected into damaged myocardium in rodents. These studies caused some controversy right from the start, Molkentin says. The main reason that this struck a raw nerve with people is because we already know that heart, in human patients, doesnt regenerate itself after an infarct.

Early skepticism arose in 2004, when two separate groups of researchers published back-to-back papers refuting the claims that bone marrowderived c-kit cells could regenerate damaged heart tissue. Still, the concept of endogenous cardiac stem cells remained a mainstream idea until Molkentin and his colleagues published a study in 2014 reporting that c-kit cells in the adult mouse heart almost never produced new cardiomyocytes, says Bin Zhou, a cell biologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a coauthor of the new study.

Although Molkentins findings were replicated shortly afterwards by two independent groups (including Zhous), some researchers held fast to the idea that cardiac progenitors could regenerate injured heart tissue. Earlier this year, a team of researchersincluding Bernardo Nadal-Ginard and Daniele Torella of Magna Graecia University in Italy and several other scientists who conducted the early work on c-kit cellspublished a paper reporting the flaws in the cell lineage tracing technique employed by Molkentin, Zhou, and their colleagues. For example, they noted that the method, which involved tagging c-kitexpressing cells and their progeny with a fluorescent marker, compromised the gene required to express the c-kit protein, impairing the progenitors regenerative abilities.

In the new Circulationstudy, Zhou and his colleagues used a different approach to examine endogenous stem cell populations in mice. Instead of tagging c-kit cells, the team applied a technique that would fluorescently label nonmyocytes and newly generated muscle cells a different color from existing myocytes. This method allowed the researchers to investigate all proposed stem cell populations, rather than specifically addressing c-kit cells. We wanted to ask the broader question of whether there are any stem cells in the adult heart, Zhou says.

These experiments revealed that, while nonmyocytes generate cardiomyocytes in mouse embryos, they do not give rise to new muscle cells in adult rodents hearts. The results also address the concerns raised about c-kit lineage tracing, Zhou tells The Scientist. We think our system can conclude that nonmyocytes cannot become myocytes in adults in homeostasis and after injury.

Torella says that hes not convinced by Zhous evidence. The main issue, he explains, is that the researchers did not explicitly test whether cardiac stem cells were indeed labeled as nonmyocytes to ensure that they were not inadvertently tagging them as myocytes instead.

Molkentin disagrees with this critique, stating that the only way the system would label a myocyte progenitor as a myocyte is if it was no longer a true stem cell, but instead an immature myocyte. Zhous group uses an exhausting and very rigorous genetic approach, he adds. My opinion is that we need to go back to the bench and conduct additional research to truly understand the mechanisms at play to better inform how we design the next generation of clinical trials.

Other scientists note that stem cells may not need to become new myocytes to help repair the injured heart. According to Phillip Yang, a cardiologist at Stanford University who did not take part in the work, many scientists now agree that stem cells are not regenerating damaged cardiomyocytes. Instead, he explains, a growing body of research now supports an alternative theory, which posits that progenitor cells secrete small molecules called paracrine factors that help repair injured heart cells. (Yang is involved in several stem cell clinical trials).

When you inject these stem cells, its pretty incontrovertible that they help heart function in a mouse injury model, Yang says. But the truth is, most of these cells are dead upon arrival [to the site of injury]. So the question is: Why is heart function still improving if these cells are dying?

Y. Li et al., Genetic lineage tracing of nonmyocyte population by dual recombinases, Circulation, 138:793-805, 2018.

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Adult Cardiac Stem Cells Don’t Exist: Study | The …

Susan Solomon: The promise of research with stem cells …

There was a very sad example of this in the last decade.There’s a wonderful drug, and a class of drugs actually,but the particular drug was Vioxx, andfor people who were suffering from severe arthritis pain,the drug was an absolute lifesaver,but unfortunately, for another subset of those people,they suffered pretty severe heart side effects,and for a subset of those people, the side effects wereso severe, the cardiac side effects, that they were fatal.But imagine a different scenario,where we could have had an array, a genetically diverse array,of cardiac cells, and we could have actually testedthat drug, Vioxx, in petri dishes, and figured out,well, okay, people with this genetic type are going to havecardiac side effects, people with these genetic subgroupsor genetic shoes sizes, about 25,000 of them,are not going to have any problems.The people for whom it was a lifesavercould have still taken their medicine.The people for whom it was a disaster, or fatal,would never have been given it, andyou can imagine a very different outcome for the company,who had to withdraw the drug.

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Susan Solomon: The promise of research with stem cells …

Stem Cell Therapy and Stem Cell Injection Provider Finder …

Stem cell therapy can be described as a means or process by which stem cells are used for the prevention, treatment or the cure of diseases. Stem cells are a special kind of cells that have features other types of cells dont have. As an illustration, stem cells are capable of proliferation. This implies that they can develop into any type of cell, and grow to start performing the functions of the tissue. In addition, they can regenerate. This means they can multiply themselves. This is most important when a new tissue has to be formed. Also, they modulate immune reactions. This has made them useful for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, especially those that affect the musculoskeletal system such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and so on. Stem cells can be derrived from different sources. They can be extracted from the body, and in some specific parts of the body. This includes the blood, bone marrow, umbilical cord in newborns, adipose tissue, and from embryos. There are 2 main types of stem cell transplant. These are autologous stem cell transplant, and allogeneic stem cell transplant. The autologous stem cell transplant means that stem cells are extracted from the patient, processed, and then transplanted back to the patient, for therapeutic purposes. On the other hand, allogeneic stem cell transplant means the transplant of stem cells or from another individual, known as the donor, to another person, or recipient. Some treatments must be given to the receiver to prevent any cases of rejections, and other complications. The autologous is usually the most preferred type of transplant because of its almost zero side effects. Below are some of the stem cell treatments. Our goal is to provide education, research and an opportunity to connect with Stem Cell Doctors, as well as provide stem cell reviews

Adipose Stem Cell TreatmentsAdipose stem cell treatment is one of the most commonly used. This is because large quantities of stem cells can be derrived from them. According to statistics, the number of stem cells in adipose tissue are usually hundreds of times higher than what can be obtained from other sources, such as the bone marrow stem cells. Adipose stem cells have taken the center stage in the world of stem cell therapy. Apart from the ease that comes with the harvesting of these cells from the adipose tissue, they also have some special features, that separates them from other types of cells. Adipose stem cells are capable of regulating and modulating the immune system. This includes immune suppression, which is important for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. In addition, adipose stem cells can differentiate to form other types of cells. Some of them include the bone forming cells, cardiomyocytes, and cells of the nervous system.

This process can be divided into four parts. These are

Stem cell joint injection is fast becoming the new treatment of joint diseases. Stem cells derived from bone marrow, adipose and mesenchymal stem cells are the most commonly used. The stem cells are injected into the joints, and they proceed to repair and replace the damaged tissues. The cells also modulate the inflammatory process going on. Overall, stem cell joint injections significantly reduce the recovery time of patients and also eliminates pain and risks associated with surgery. Examples of diseases where this treatment is used include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and so on. Researchers and physicians have rated this procedure to be the future of joint therapy.

Losing a tooth as a kid isnt news because youd eventually grow them back, but losing one as an adult isnt a pleasant experience. Youd have to go through the pains of getting a replacement from your dentist. Apart from the cost of these procedures, the pain and number of days youd have to stay at home nursing the pain is also a problem. Nevertheless, there are great teeth replacement therapies available for all kinds of dental problems. Although there are already good dental treatment methods, stem cell therapy might soon become the future of dental procedures. Currently, a lot of research is being done on how stem cells can be used to develop teeth naturally, especially in patients with dental problems. The aim of the project is to develop a method whereby peoples stem cells are used in regenerating their own teeth and within the shortest time possible. Some of the benefits of the stem cell tooth would be:

The quality of life of those that underwent serious procedures, especially those that had an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation done was studied. It was discovered that this set of people had to cope with some psychological problems, even years after the procedure. In addition, allogeneic stem cell transplantation often comes with some side effects. However, this a small price to pay, considering that the adverse effects are not usually life-threatening. Also theses types of procedures are used for severe disorders or even terminal diseases. On the other hand, autologous stem cell transplantation bears the minimum to no side effects. Patients do have a great quality of life, both in the short term and in the long term.

This is one of the many uses of stem cells. The stem cell gun is a device that is used in treating people with wounds or burns. This is done by simply triggering it, and it sprays stem cells on the affected part. This kind of treatment is crucial for victims of a severe burn. Usually, people affected by severe burns would have to endure excruciating pain. The process of recovery is usually long, which might vary from weeks to months, depending on the severity of the burn. Even after treatment, most patients are left with scars forever. However, the stem cell gun eliminates these problems, the skin can be grown back in just a matter of days. The new skin also grows evenly and blends perfectly with the other part of the body. This process is also without the scars that are usually associated with the traditional burns therapy. The stem cell gun is without any side effects.

There is one company that focuses on the production of stem cell supplements. These stem cells are usually natural ingredients that increase the development of stem cells, and also keeps them healthy. The purpose of the stem cell supplements is to help reduce the aging process and make people look younger. These supplements work by replacing the dead or repairing the damaged tissues of the body. There have been a lot of testimonials to the efficacy of these supplements.

It is the goal of researchers to make stem cell therapy a good alternative for the millions of patients suffering from cardiac-related diseases. According to some experiments carried out in animals, stem cells were injected into the ones affected by heart diseases. A large percentage of them showed great improvement, even within just a few weeks. However, when the trial was carried out in humans, some stem cells went ahead to develop into heart muscles, but overall, the heart function was generally improved. The reason for the improvement has been attributed to the formation of new vessels in the heart. The topic that has generated a lot of arguments have been what type of cells should be used in the treatment of heart disorders. Stem cells extracted from the bone marrow, embryo have been in use, although bone marrow stem cells are the most commonly used. Stem cells extracted from bone marrow can differentiate into cardiac cells, while studies have shown that other stem cells cannot do the same. Even though the stem cell therapy has a lot of potential in the future, more research and studies have to be done to make that a reality.

The use of stem cells for the treatment of hair loss has increased significantly. This can be attributed to the discovery of stem cells in bone marrow, adipose cells, umbilical cord, and so on. Stem cells are extracted from the patient, through any of the sources listed above. Adipose tissue stem cells are usually the most convenient in this scenario, as they do not require any special extraction procedure. Adipose tissue is harvested from the abdominal area. The stem cells are then isolated from the other cells through a process known as centrifugation. The stem cells are then activated and are now ready for use. The isolated stem cells are then introduced into the scalp, under local anesthesia. The entire process takes about three hours. Patients are free to go home, after the procedure. Patients would begin to see improvements in just a few months, however, this depends largely on the patients ability to heal. Every patient has a different outcome.

Human umbilical stem cells are cells extracted from the umbilical cord of a healthy baby, shortly after birth. Umbilical cord tissue is abundant in stem cells, and the stem cells can differentiate into many types of cells such as red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. They are also capable of differentiating into non-blood cells such as muscle cells, cartilage cells and so on. These cells are usually preferred because its’ extraction is minimally non invasive. It also is nearly painless. It also has zero risks of rejecting, as it does not require any form of matching or typing.Human umbilical stem cell injections are used for the treatment of spinal cord injuries. A trial was done on twenty-five patients that had late-stage spinal cord injuries. They were placed on human umbilical stem cell therapy, while another set of 25 patients were simultaneously placed on the usual rehabilitation therapy. The two groups were studied for the next twelve months. The results of the trial showed that those people placed on stem cell therapy by administering the human umbilical cell tissue injections had a significant recovery, as compared to the other group that underwent the traditional rehabilitation therapy. It was concluded that human umbilical tissue injections applied close to the injured part gives the best outcomes.

Stem cell therapy has been used for the treatment of many types diseases. This ranges from terminal illnesses such as cancer, joint diseases such as arthritis, and also autoimmune diseases. Stem cell therapy is often a better alternative to most traditional therapy today. This is because stem cell procedure is minimally invasive when compared to chemotherapy and so on. It harnesses the bodys own ability to heal. The stem cells are extracted from other parts of the body and then transplanted to other parts of the body, where they would repair and maintain the tissues. They also perform the function of modulating the immune system, which makes them important for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Below are some of the diseases that stem cell therapies have been used successfully:

A stem cell bank can be described as a facility where stem cells are stored for future purposes. These are mostly amniotic stem cells, which are derived from the amnion fluid. Umbilical cord stem cells are also equally important as it is rich in stem cells and can be used for the treatment of many diseases. Examples of these diseases include cancer, blood disorders, autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal diseases and so on. According to statistics, umbilical stem cells can be used for the treatment of over eighty diseases. Storing your stem cells should be seen as an investment in your health for future sake. Parents do have the option of either throwing away their babys umbilical cord or donating it to stem cell banks.

The adipose tissue contains a lot of stem cells, that has the ability to transform into other cells such as muscle, cartilage, neural cells. They are also important for the treatment of some cardiovascular diseases. This is what makes it important for people to want to store their stem cells. The future health benefit is huge. The only way adults can store their stem cells in sufficient amounts is to extract the stem cells from their fat tissues. This process is usually painless and fast. Although, the extraction might have to be done between 3 to 5 times before the needed quantity is gotten. People that missed the opportunity to store their stem cells, using their cord cells, can now store it using their own adipose tissues. This can be used at any point in time.

Side effects often accompany every kind of treatment. However, this depends largely on the individual. While patients might present with side effects, some other people wouldnt. Whether a patient will present with adverse effects, depends on the following factors;

Some of the common side effects of stem cell transplant are;

Stem cell treatment has been largely successful so far, however, more studies and research needs to be done. Stem cell therapy could be the future.

Stem cells are unique cells that have some special features such as self-regeneration, tissue repair, and modulation of the immune system. These are the features that are employed in the treatment of diseases.

Our doctors are certified by iSTEMCELL but operate as part of a medical group or as independent business owners and as such are free to charge what the feel to be the right fit for their practice and clients. We have seen Stem Cell Treatment costs range from $3500 upwards of $30,000 depending on the condition and protocol required for intended results. Find the Best Stem Cell Doctor Near me If you are interested in saving money, try our STEM CELL COUPON!

Travel Medcations are becoming very popular around the globe for several reasons but not for what one might think. It is not about traveling to Mexico to save money, but to get procedures or protocols that are not yet available in your home country. Many procedures are started in your home country, then the tissue is set to the tissue lab where it is then grown in a process to maximize live cells, then sent to a hospital in Mexico designed to treat or provide different therapies for different conditions. If you’re ready to take a medical vacation call 972-800-6670 for our”WHITE GLOVE” service.

Chen, C. and Hou, J. (2016). Mesenchymal stem cell-based therapy in kidney transplantation. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 7(1).

Donnelly, A., Johar, S., OBrien, T. and Tuan, R. (2010). Welcome to Stem Cell Research & Therapy. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 1(1), p.1.

Groothuis, S. (2015). Changes in Stem Cell Research. Stem Cell Research, 14(1), p.130.

Rao, M. (2012). Stem cells and regenerative medicine. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 3(4), p.27.

Vunjak-Novakovic, G. (2013). Physical influences on stem cells. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 4(6), p.153.

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Stem Cell Therapy and Stem Cell Injection Provider Finder …

Mending a Broken Heart: Stem Cells and Cardiac Repair …

Charles A. Goldthwaite, Jr., Ph.D.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes hypertension, coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and congestive heart failure (CHF), has ranked as the number one cause of death in the United States every year since 1900 except 1918, when the nation struggled with an influenza epidemic.1 In 2002, CVD claimed roughly as many lives as cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents, diabetes mellitus, influenza, and pneumonia combined. According to data from the 19992002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), CVD caused approximately 1.4 million deaths (38.0 percent of all deaths) in the U.S. in 2002. Nearly 2600 Americans die of CVD each day, roughly one death every 34 seconds. Moreover, within a year of diagnosis, one in five patients with CHF will die. CVD also creates a growing economic burden; the total health care cost of CVD in 2005 was estimated at $393.5 billion dollars.

Given the aging of the U.S. population and the relatively dramatic recent increases in the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity and type 2 diabetes,2,3 CVD will continue to be a significant health concern well into the 21st century. However, improvements in the acute treatment of heart attacks and an increasing arsenal of drugs have facilitated survival. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 7.1 million people have survived a heart attack, while 4.9 million live with CHF.1 These trends suggest an unmet need for therapies to regenerate or repair damaged cardiac tissue.

Ischemic heart failure occurs when cardiac tissue is deprived of oxygen. When the ischemic insult is severe enough to cause the loss of critical amounts of cardiac muscle cells (cardiomyocytes), this loss initiates a cascade of detrimental events, including formation of a non-contractile scar, ventricular wall thinning (see Figure 6.1), an overload of blood flow and pressure, ventricular remodeling (the overstretching of viable cardiac cells to sustain cardiac output), heart failure, and eventual death.4 Restoring damaged heart muscle tissue, through repair or regeneration, therefore represents a fundamental mechanistic strategy to treat heart failure. However, endogenous repair mechanisms, including the proliferation of cardiomyocytes under conditions of severe blood vessel stress or vessel formation and tissue generation via the migration of bone-marrow-derived stem cells to the site of damage, are in themselves insufficient to restore lost heart muscle tissue (myocardium) or cardiac function.5 Current pharmacologic interventions for heart disease, including beta-blockers, diuretics, and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and surgical treatment options, such as changing the shape of the left ventricle and implanting assistive devices such as pacemakers or defibrillators, do not restore function to damaged tissue. Moreover, while implantation of mechanical ventricular assist devices can provide long-term improvement in heart function, complications such as infection and blood clots remain problematic.6 Although heart transplantation offers a viable option to replace damaged myocardium in selected individuals, organ availability and transplant rejection complications limit the widespread practical use of this approach.

Figure 6.1. Normal vs. Infarcted Heart. The left ventricle has a thick muscular wall, shown in cross-section in A. After a myocardial infarction (heart attack), heart muscle cells in the left ventricle are deprived of oxygen and die (B), eventually causing the ventricular wall to become thinner (C).

2007 Terese Winslow

The difficulty in regenerating damaged myocardial tissue has led researchers to explore the application of embryonic and adult-derived stem cells for cardiac repair. A number of stem cell types, including embryonic stem (ES) cells, cardiac stem cells that naturally reside within the heart, myoblasts (muscle stem cells), adult bone marrow-derived cells, mesenchymal cells (bone marrow-derived cells that give rise to tissues such as muscle, bone, tendons, ligaments, and adipose tissue), endothelial progenitor cells (cells that give rise to the endothelium, the interior lining of blood vessels), and umbilical cord blood cells, have been investigated to varying extents as possible sources for regenerating damaged myocardium. All have been tested in mouse or rat models, and some have been tested in large animal models such as pigs. Preliminary clinical data for many of these cell types have also been gathered in selected patient populations.

However, clinical trials to date using stem cells to repair damaged cardiac tissue vary in terms of the condition being treated, the method of cell delivery, and the primary outcome measured by the study, thus hampering direct comparisons between trials.7 Some patients who have received stem cells for myocardial repair have reduced cardiac blood flow (myocardial ischemia), while others have more pronounced congestive heart failure and still others are recovering from heart attacks. In some cases, the patient’s underlying condition influences the way that the stem cells are delivered to his/her heart (see the section, quot;Methods of Cell Deliveryquot; for details). Even among patients undergoing comparable procedures, the clinical study design can affect the reporting of results. Some studies have focused on safety issues and adverse effects of the transplantation procedures; others have assessed improvements in ventricular function or the delivery of arterial blood. Furthermore, no published trial has directly compared two or more stem cell types, and the transplanted cells may be autologous (i.e., derived from the person on whom they are used) or allogeneic (i.e., originating from another person) in origin. Finally, most of these trials use unlabeled cells, making it difficult for investigators to follow the cells’ course through the body after transplantation (see the section quot;Considerations for Using These Stem Cells in the Clinical Settingquot; at the end of this article for more details).

Despite the relative infancy of this field, initial results from the application of stem cells to restore cardiac function have been promising. This article will review the research supporting each of the aforementioned cell types as potential source materials for myocardial regeneration and will conclude with a discussion of general issues that relate to their clinical application.

In 2001, Menasche, et.al. described the successful implantation of autologous skeletal myoblasts (cells that divide to repair and/or increase the size of voluntary muscles) into the post-infarction scar of a patient with severe ischemic heart failure who was undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery.8 Following the procedure, the researchers used imaging techniques to observe the heart’s muscular wall and to assess its ability to beat. When they examined patients 5 months after treatment, they concluded that treated hearts pumped blood more efficiently and seemed to demonstrate improved tissue health. This case study suggested that stem cells may represent a viable resource for treating ischemic heart failure, spawning several dozen clinical studies of stem cell therapy for cardiac repair (see Boyle, et.al.7 for a complete list) and inspiring the development of Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. These trials have revealed the complexity of using stem cells for cardiac repair, and considerations for using stem cells in the clinical setting are discussed in a subsequent section of this report.

The mechanism by which stem cells promote cardiac repair remains controversial, and it is likely that the cells regenerate myocardium through several pathways. Initially, scientists believed that transplanted cells differentiated into cardiac cells, blood vessels, or other cells damaged by CVD.911 However, this model has been recently supplanted by the idea that transplanted stem cells release growth factors and other molecules that promote blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) or stimulate quot;residentquot; cardiac stem cells to repair damage.1214 Additional mechanisms for stem-cell mediated heart repair, including strengthening of the post-infarct scar15 and the fusion of donor cells with host cardiomyocytes,16 have also been proposed.

Regardless of which mechanism(s) will ultimately prove to be the most significant in stem-cell mediated cardiac repair, cells must be successfully delivered to the site of injury to maximize the restored function. In preliminary clinical studies, researchers have used several approaches to deliver stem cells. Common approaches include intravenous injection and direct infusion into the coronary arteries. These methods can be used in patients whose blood flow has been restored to their hearts after a heart attack, provided that they do not have additional cardiac dysfunction that results in total occlusion or poor arterial flow.12, 17 Of these two methods, intracoronary infusion offers the advantage of directed local delivery, thereby increasing the number of cells that reach the target tissue relative to the number that will home to the heart once they have been placed in the circulation. However, these strategies may be of limited benefit to those who have poor circulation, and stem cells are often injected directly into the ventricular wall of these patients. This endomyocardial injection may be carried out either via a catheter or during open-heart surgery.18

To determine the ideal site to inject stem cells, doctors use mapping or direct visualization to identify the locations of scars and viable cardiac tissue. Despite improvements in delivery efficiency, however, the success of these methods remains limited by the death of the transplanted cells; as many as 90% of transplanted cells die shortly after implantation as a result of physical stress, myocardial inflammation, and myocardial hypoxia.4 Timing of delivery may slow the rate of deterioration of tissue function, although this issue remains a hurdle for therapeutic approaches.

Embryonic and adult stem cells have been investigated to regenerate damaged myocardial tissue in animal models and in a limited number of clinical studies. A brief review of work to date and specific considerations for the application of various cell types will be discussed in the following sections.

Because ES cells are pluripotent, they can potentially give rise to the variety of cell types that are instrumental in regenerating damaged myocardium, including cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells, and smooth muscle cells. To this end, mouse and human ES cells have been shown to differentiate spontaneously to form endothelial and smooth muscle cells in vitro19 and in vivo,20,21 and human ES cells differentiate into myocytes with the structural and functional properties of cardiomyocytes.2224 Moreover, ES cells that were transplanted into ischemically-injured myocardium in rats differentiated into normal myocardial cells that remained viable for up to four months,25 suggesting that these cells may be candidates for regenerative therapy in humans.

However, several key hurdles must be overcome before human ES cells can be used for clinical applications. Foremost, ethical issues related to embryo access currently limit the avenues of investigation. In addition, human ES cells must go through rigorous testing and purification procedures before the cells can be used as sources to regenerate tissue. First, researchers must verify that their putative ES cells are pluripotent. To prove that they have established a human ES cell line, researchers inject the cells into immunocompromised mice; i.e., mice that have a dysfunctional immune system. Because the injected cells cannot be destroyed by the mouse’s immune system, they survive and proliferate. Under these conditions, pluripotent cells will form a teratoma, a multi-layered, benign tumor that contains cells derived from all three embryonic germ layers. Teratoma formation indicates that the stem cells have the capacity to give rise to all cell types in the body.

The pluripotency of ES cells can complicate their clinical application. While undifferentiated ES cells may possibly serve as sources of specific cell populations used in myocardial repair, it is essential that tight quality control be maintained with respect to the differentiated cells. Any differentiated cells that would be used to regenerate heart tissue must be purified before transplantation can be considered. If injected regenerative cells are accidentally contaminated with undifferentiated ES cells, a tumor could possibly form as a result of the cell transplant.4 However, purification methodologies continue to improve; one recent report describes a method to identify and select cardiomyocytes during human ES cell differentiation that may make these cells a viable option in the future.26

This concern illustrates the scientific challenges that accompany the use of all human stem cells, whether derived from embryonic or adult tissues. Predictable control of cell proliferation and differentiation requires additional basic research on the molecular and genetic signals that regulate cell division and specialization. Furthermore, long-term cell stability must be well understood before human ES-derived cells can be used in regenerative medicine. The propensity for genetic mutation in the human ES cells must be determined, and the survival of differentiated, ES-derived cells following transplantation must be assessed. Furthermore, once cells have been transplanted, undesirable interactions between the host tissue and the injected cells must be minimized. Cells or tissues derived from ES cells that are currently available for use in humans are not tissue-matched to patients and thus would require immunosuppression to limit immune rejection.18

While skeletal myoblasts (SMs) are committed progenitors of skeletal muscle cells, their autologous origin, high proliferative potential, commitment to a myogenic lineage, and resistance to ischemia promoted their use as the first stem cell type to be explored extensively for cardiac application. Studies in rats and humans have demonstrated that these cells can repopulate scar tissue and improve left ventricular function following transplantation.27 However, SM-derived cardiomyocytes do not function in complete concert with native myocardium. The expression of two key proteins involved in electromechanical cell integration, N-cadherin and connexin 43, are downregulated in vivo,28 and the engrafted cells develop a contractile activity phenotype that appears to be unaffected by neighboring cardiomyocytes.29

To date, the safety and feasibility of transplanting SM cells have been explored in a series of small studies enrolling a collective total of nearly 100 patients. Most of these procedures were carried out during open-heart surgery, although a couple of studies have investigated direct myocardial injection and transcoronary administration. Sustained ventricular tachycardia, a life-threatening arrhythmia and unexpected side-effect, occurred in early implantation studies, possibly resulting from the lack of electrical coupling between SM-derived cardiomyocytes and native tissue.30,31 Changes in preimplantation protocols have minimized the occurrence of arrhythmias in conjunction with the use of SM cells, and Phase II studies of skeletal myoblast therapy are presently underway.

In 2001, Jackson, et.al. demonstrated that cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells could be regenerated in a mouse heart attack model through the introduction of adult mouse bone marrow-derived stem cells.9 That same year, Orlic and colleagues showed that direct injection of mouse bone marrow-derived cells into the damaged ventricular wall following an induced heart attack led to the formation of new cardiomyocytes, vascular endothelium, and smooth muscle cells.11 Nine days after transplanting the stem cells, the newly-formed myocardium occupied nearly 70 percent of the damaged portion of the ventricle, and survival rates were greater in mice that received these cells than in those that did not. While several subsequent studies have questioned whether these cells actually differentiate into cardiomyocytes,32,33 the evidence to support their ability to prevent remodeling has been demonstrated in many laboratories.7

Based on these findings, researchers have investigated the potential of human adult bone marrow as a source of stem cells for cardiac repair. Adult bone marrow contains several stem cell populations, including hematopoietic stem cells (which differentiate into all of the cellular components of blood), endothelial progenitor cells, and mesenchymal stem cells; successful application of these cells usually necessitates isolating a particular cell type on the basis of its’ unique cell-surface receptors. In the past three years, the transplantation of bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMNCs), a mixed population of blood and cells that includes stem and progenitor cells, has been explored in more patients and clinical studies of cardiac repair than any other type of stem cell.7

The results from clinical studies of BMMNC transplantation have been promising but mixed. However, it should be noted that these studies have been conducted under a variety of conditions, thereby hampering direct comparison. The cells have been delivered via open-heart surgery and endomyocardial and intracoronary catheterization. Several studies, including the Bone Marrow Transfer to Enhance ST-Elevation Infarct Regeneration (BOOST) and the Transplantation of Progenitor Cells and Regeneration Enhancement in Acute Myocardial Infarction (TOPCARE-AMI) trials, have shown that intracoronary infusion of BMMNCs following a heart attack significantly improves the left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction, or the volume of blood pumped out of the left ventricle with each heartbeat.3436 However, other studies have indicated either no improvement in LV ejection fraction upon treatment37 or an increased LV ejection fraction in the control group.38 An early study that used endomyocardial injection to enhance targeted delivery indicated a significant improvement in overall LV function.39 Discrepancies such as these may reflect differences in cell preparation protocols or baseline patient statistics. As larger trials are developed, these issues can be explored more systematically.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are precursors of non-hematopoietic tissues (e.g., muscle, bone, tendons, ligaments, adipose tissue, and fibroblasts) that are obtained relatively easily from autologous bone marrow. They remain multipotent following expansion in vitro, exhibit relatively low immunogenicity, and can be frozen easily. While these properties make the cells amenable to preparation and delivery protocols, scientists can also culture them under special conditions to differentiate them into cells that resemble cardiac myocytes. This property enables their application to cardiac regeneration. MSCs differentiate into endothelial cells when cultured with vascular endothelial growth factor40 and cardiomyogenic (CMG) cells when treated with the dna-demethylating agent, 5-azacytidine.41 More important, however, is the observation that MSCs can differentiate into cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells in vivo when transplanted to the heart following myocardial infarct (MI) or non-injury in pig, mouse, or rat models.4245 Additionally, the ability of MSCs to restore functionality may be enhanced by the simultaneous transplantation of other stem cell types.43

Several animal model studies have shown that treatment with MSCs significantly increases myocardial function and capillary formation.5,41 One advantage of using these cells in human studies is their low immunogenicity; allogeneic MSCs injected into infarcted myocardium in a pig model regenerated myocardium and reduced infarct size without evidence of rejection.46 A randomized clinical trial implanting MSCs after MI has demonstrated significant improvement in global and regional LV function,47 and clinical trials are currently underway to investigate the application of allogeneic and autologous MSCs for acute MI and myocardial ischemia, respectively.

Recent evidence suggests that the heart contains a small population of endogenous stem cells that most likely facilitate minor repair and turnover-mediated cell replacement.7 These cells have been isolated and characterized in mouse, rat, and human tissues.48,49 The cells can be harvested in limited quantity from human endomyocardial biopsy specimens50 and can be injected into the site of infarction to promote cardiomyocyte formation and improvements in systolic function.49 Separation and expansion ex vivo over a period of weeks are necessary to obtain sufficient quantities of these cells for experimental purposes. However, their potential as a convenient resource for autologous stem cell therapy has led the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to fund forthcoming clinical trials that will explore the use of cardiac stem cells for myocardial regeneration.

The endothelium is a layer of specialized cells that lines the interior surface of all blood vessels (including the heart). This layer provides an interface between circulating blood and the vessel wall. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are bone marrow-derived stem cells that are recruited into the peripheral blood in response to tissue ischemia.4 EPCs are precursor cells that express some cell-surface markers characteristic of mature endothelium and some of hematopoietic cells.19,5153 EPCs home in on ischemic areas, where they differentiate into new blood vessels; following a heart attack, intravenously injected EPCs home to the damaged region within 48 hours.12 The new vascularization induced by these cells prevents cardiomyocyte apoptosis (programmed cell death) and LV remodeling, thereby preserving ventricular function.13 However, no change has been observed in non-infarcted regions upon EPC administration. Clinical trials are currently underway to assess EPC therapy for growing new blood vessels and regenerating myocardium.

Several other cell populations, including umbilical cord blood (UCB) stem cells, fibroblasts (cells that synthesize the extracellular matrix of connective tissues), and peripheral blood CD34+ cells, have potential therapeutic uses for regenerating cardiac tissue. Although these cell types have not been investigated in clinical trials of heart disease, preliminary studies in animal models indicate several potential applications in humans.

Umbilical cord blood contains enriched populations of hematopoietic stem cells and mesencyhmal precursor cells relative to the quantities present in adult blood or bone marrow.54,55 When injected intravenously into the tail vein in a mouse model of MI, human mononuclear UCB cells formed new blood vessels in the infarcted heart.56 A human DNA assay was used to determine the migration pattern of the cells after injection; although they homed only to injured areas within the heart, they were also detected in the marrow, spleen, and liver. When injected directly into the infarcted area in a rat model of MI, human mononuclear UCB cells improved ventricular function.57 Staining for CD34 and other markers found on the cell surface of hematopoietic stem cells indicated that some of the cells survived in the myocardium. Results similar to these have been observed following the injection of human unrestricted somatic stem cells from UCB into a pig MI model.58

Adult peripheral blood CD34+ cells offer the advantage of being obtained relatively easily from autologous sources.59 Although some studies using a mouse model of MI claim that these cells can transdifferentiate into cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells, and smooth muscle cells at the site of tissue injury,60 this conclusion is highly contested. Recent studies that involve the direct injection of blood-borne or bone marrow-derived hematopoietic stem cells into the infarcted region of a mouse model of MI found no evidence of myocardial regeneration following injection of either cell type.33 Instead, these hematopoietic stem cells followed traditional differentiation patterns into blood cells within the microenvironment of the injured heart. Whether these cells will ultimately find application in myocardial regeneration remains to be determined.

Autologous fibroblasts offer a different strategy to combat myocardial damage by replacing scar tissue with a more elastic, muscle-like tissue and inhibiting host matrix degradation.4 The cells may be manipulated to express muscle-specific transcription factors that promote their differentiation into myotubes such as those derived from skeletal myoblasts.61 One month after these cells were implanted into the post-infarction scar in a rat model of MI, they occupied a large portion of the scar but were not functionally integrated.61 Although the effects on ventricular function were not evaluated in this study, authors noted that modified autologous fibroblasts may ultimately prove useful in elderly patients who have a limited population of autologous skeletal myoblasts or bone marrow stem cells.

As these examples indicate, many types of stem cells have been applied to regenerate damaged myocardium. In select applications, stem cells have demonstrated sufficient promise to warrant further exploration in large-scale, controlled clinical trials. However, the current breadth of application of these cells has made it difficult to compare and contextualize the results generated by the various trials. Most studies published to date have enrolled fewer than 25 patients, and the studies vary in terms of cell types and preparations used, methods of delivery, patient populations, and trial outcomes. However, the mixed results that have been observed in these studies do not necessarily argue against using stem cells for cardiac repair. Rather, preliminary results illuminate the many gaps in understanding of the mechanisms by which these cells regenerate myocardial tissue and argue for improved characterization of cell preparations and delivery methods to support clinical applications.

Future clinical trials that use stem cells for myocardial repair must address two concerns that accompany the delivery of these cells: 1) safety and 2) tracking the cells to their ultimate destination(s). Although stem cells appear to be relatively safe in the majority of recipients to date, an increased frequency of non-sustained ventricular tachycardia, an arrhythmia, has been reported in conjunction with the use of skeletal myoblasts.30,6264 While this proarrhythmic effect occurs relatively early after cell delivery and does not appear to be permanent, its presence highlights the need for careful safety monitoring when these cells are used. Additionally, animal models have demonstrated that stem cells rapidly diffuse from the heart to other organs (e.g., lungs, kidneys, liver, spleen) within a few hours of transplantation,65,66 an effect observed regardless of whether the cells are injected locally into the myocardium. This migration may or may not cause side-effects in patients; however, it remains a concern related to the delivery of stem cells in humans. (Note: Techniques to label stem cells for tracking purposes and to assess their safety are discussed in more detail in other articles in this publication).

In addition to safety and tracking, several logistical issues must also be addressed before stem cells can be used routinely in the clinic. While cell tracking methodologies allow researchers to determine migration patterns, the stem cells must target their desired destination(s) and be retained there for a sufficient amount of time to achieve benefit. To facilitate targeting and enable clinical use, stem cells must be delivered easily and efficiently to their sites of application. Finally, the ease by which the cells can be obtained and the cost of cell preparation will also influence their transition to the clinic.

The evidence to date suggests that stem cells hold promise as a therapy to regenerate damaged myocardium. Given the worldwide prevalence of cardiac dysfunction and the limited availability of tissue for cardiac transplantation, stem cells could ultimately fulfill a large-scale unmet clinical need and improve the quality of life for millions of people with CVD. However, the use of these cells in this setting is currently in its infancymuch remains to be learned about the mechanisms by which stem cells repair and regenerate myocardium, the optimal cell types and modes of their delivery, and the safety issues that will accompany their use. As the results of large-scale clinical trials become available, researchers will begin to identify ways to standardize and optimize the use of these cells, thereby providing clinicians with powerful tools to mend a broken heart.

Chapter 5|Table of Contents|Chapter 7

See the article here:
Mending a Broken Heart: Stem Cells and Cardiac Repair …

Scientists edit heart muscle gene in stem cells, may be …

Story highlights

In other words, the impact certain variants could have on your health remains a guessing game.

“Patients often ask us what do these variants of uncertain significance mean. But in reality, we don’t know most of the time ourselves. So we end up having to follow the patients for the next five, 10, 20, or 30 years to see if the patient manifests the disease or not,” Wu said.

“Here, we now have a way to shorten that time because we can generate patients’ induced pluripotent stem cells from blood.”

How do those stem cells then help predict if a variant is harmful or not? They can be differentiated into heart cells.

If the heart cells look abnormal, that probably means the variant of uncertain significance is pathogenic, meaning it’s capable of causing disease.

If the heart cells look normal, that probably means the variant of uncertain significance is actually benign.

“This is one of the very first proof of principles to show that concept,” Wu said.

‘An important step towards precision medicine’

The researchers found 592 genetic variants across the 54 people. While 78% of the variants were categorized as benign, there were 17 people who each carried a variant categorized as “likely pathogenic.” For four of those people, their variant was hypertrophic cardiomyopathy-related.

So the researchers then took that knowledge and used CRISPR to turn the patient’s stem cells with this MYL3 genetic variant from being heterozygous, meaning they have one normal and one recessive form of the variant, to being homozygous, so that they have two recessive forms of the variant.

Specifically, the researchers took the one study participant’s blood cells, turned them into induced pluripotent stem cells, and then used CRISPR to edit those cells in a petri dish. The researchers then differentiated the edited stem cells so they would become heart muscle cells, and performed a comprehensive analysis to evaluate the variant, determining exactly how harmful the variant was or whether it was benign.

In this case, the study participant’s variant was predicted to be benign.

A risk with using CRISPR is that it could introduce some unintended changes, but no off-target mutations were detected in the gene-edited cells, the researchers reported in their study.

“Much work remains to further develop stepping stones between editing cells in a dish and genome editing therapeutics that can treat patients, but studies such as this one help identify variants that are promising targets for therapeutic editing,” said David Liu, core institute member of the Broad Institute and professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University, who was not involved in the study.

This gene-editing approach was found to be feasible in this one patient, but more research is needed to determine whether similar results would emerge among more patients.

“While it’s very elegant, the major limitation of this work is that it took years of expensive work by a team of very talented scientists to do this for just one patient,” said Dr. Kiran Musunuru, an associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, who was not involved in the new study but has conducted separate research involving CRISPR.

“It’s an important step towards precision medicine, but going forward we will need to scale this up and be able to do this for dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of patients at a time, in a matter of weeks and much more cheaply,” he said.

Time and cost are also limitations of this approach, Wu said.

“Cost-wise, it takes us probably about $10,000 and time-wise about six months,” he said. Those six months would involve making the induced pluripotent stem cells, using CRISPR to edit the cells and then analyzing the differentiated heart cells.

Wu added, “but keep in mind that six months is actually still much better than the current alternative that we have, which is to tell patients that we don’t know what the variant means.”

The alternative would be following a patient with a variant for years, with the worrisome chance of a disease possibly developing or not developing. In either scenario, the patient as well as family members could have anxiety and stress.

Is this the future of gene editing?

“This addresses a major unmet need in patient care by helping determine whether your specific mutation is something to worry about,” said Lagor, who was not involved in the study but has conducted separate research on CRISPR.

Then once a mutation has been identified as disease-causing, “this is an ideal platform for testing potential new drugs or gene therapy approaches in a patient-specific manner. This is truly personalized medicine,” he said.

“The first therapeutic application of this technology would be to correct rare genetic diseases of the heart itself, where the potential benefit far outweighs the risk to the patient. Some of this technology already exists today, and it is now a matter of demonstrating that this can be done safely and effectively,” he said.

“However, present-day forms of CRISPR technology do not work well enough in the actual heart muscle in a living being to correct a mutation for a disease like cardiomyopathy,” he said. “It’s possible that some future generation of gene-editing technology might be able to do the job of treating disease in the heart muscle, years or more likely decades in the future.”

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Scientists edit heart muscle gene in stem cells, may be …

iPSC | Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells | Human | HiPSC …

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Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (HiPSC)Top:HiPSC express pluriotency markers OCT4, Nanog, LIN28 and SSEA-4.Bottom:HiPSC differentiate into cell derivatives from the 3 embryonic layers: Neuronal marker beta III tubulin (TUJ1), Smooth Muscle Actin (SMA) and Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 3 Beta (HNF3b).

Cutting-edge development and manufacturing provides high quality, thoroughly-characterized HiPSC cells to researchers around the world. HiPSC are generated from somatic cells, eliminating ethical considerations associated with scientific work based on embryonic stem cells. Furthermore, being donor/patient-specific, they open possibilities for a wide variety of studies in biomedical research. Donor somatic cells carry the genetic makeup of the diseased patient, hence HiPSC can be used directly to model disease on a dish.

Thus, one of the main uses of HiPSC has been in genetic disease modeling in organs and tissues, such as the brain (Alzheimers, Autism Spectrum Disorders), heart (Familial Hypertrophic, Dilated, and Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathies), and skeletal muscle (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Spinal Muscle Atrophy). The combination of HiPSC technology and gene editing strategies such as the CRISPR/Cas9 system creates a powerful platform in which disease-causing mutations can be created on demand and sets of isogenic cell lines (with and without mutations) serve as convenient tools for disease modeling studies.

Other applications of HiPSC and iPSC-differentiated cells include drug screening, development, efficacy and toxicity assessment. As an example, through the FDA-backed CiPA (Comprehensive in vitro Pro-Arrhythmia Assessment) initiative, HiPSC-derived cardiac muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) are poised to constitute a new standard model for the evaluation of cardiotoxicity of new drugs, which is the main reason of drug withdrawal from the market. Finally, HiPSC-differentiated cells are being used in early stage technology development for applications in regenerative medicine. Bio-printing and tissue constructs have also been considered as attractive applications for HiPSC.

Human iPSC and Derived Cells are forResearch Use Only (RUO). Not for human clinical or therapeutic use.

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iPSC | Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells | Human | HiPSC …

Combination of Mesenchymal and C-kit+ Cardiac Stem Cells …

Brief Summary:

This is a phase II, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial designed to assess feasibility, safety, and effect of autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and c-kit+ cardiac stem cells (CSCs) both alone and in combination (Combo), compared to placebo (cell-free Plasmalyte-A medium) as well as each other, administered by transendocardial injection in subjects with ischemic cardiomyopathy.

This is a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial designed to evaluate the feasibility, safety, and effect of Combo, MSCs alone, and CSCs alone compared with placebo as well as each other in subjects with heart failure of ischemic etiology. Following a successful lead-in phase, a total of one hundred forty-four (144) subjects will be randomized (1:1:1:1) to receive Combo, MSCs, CSCs, or placebo. After randomization, baseline imaging, relevant harvest procedures, and study product injection, subjects will be followed up at 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months post study product injection. All subjects will receive study product injection (cells or placebo) using the NOGA XP Mapping and Navigation System. Subjects will have delayed-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DEMRI) scans to assess scar size and LV function and structure at baseline and at 6 and 12 months post study product administration. All endpoints will be assessed at the 6 and 12 month visits which will occur 180 30 days and 365 30 days respectively from the day of study product injection (Day 0). For the purpose of the endpoint analysis and safety evaluations, the Investigators will utilize an “intention-to-treat” study population, however an as treated analysis will also be conducted.

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Combination of Mesenchymal and C-kit+ Cardiac Stem Cells …

Studies: Stem cells reverse heart damage – CNN

Story highlights

On a June day in 2009, a 39-year-old man named Ken Milles lay on an exam table at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. A month earlier, he’d suffered a massive heart attack that destroyed nearly a third of his heart.

“The most difficult part was the uncertainty,” he recalls. “Your heart is 30% damaged, and they tell you this could affect you the rest of your life.” He was about to receive an infusion of stem cells, grown from cells taken from his own heart a few weeks earlier. No one had ever tried this before.

About three weeks later, in Kentucky, a patient named Mike Jones underwent a similar procedure at the University of Louisville’s Jewish Hospital. Jones suffered from advanced heart failure, the result of a heart attack years earlier. Like Milles, he received an infusion of stem cells, grown from his own heart tissue.

“Once you reach this stage of heart disease, you don’t get better,” says Dr. Robert Bolli, who oversaw Jones’ procedure, explaining what doctors have always believed and taught. “You can go down slowly, or go down quickly, but you’re going to go down.”

Conventional wisdom took a hit Monday, as Bolli’s group and a team from Cedars-Sinai each reported that stem cell therapies were able to reverse heart damage, without dangerous side effects, at least in a small group of patients.

In Bolli’s study, published in The Lancet, 16 patients with severe heart failure received a purified batch of cardiac stem cells. Within a year, their heart function markedly improved. The heart’s pumping ability can be quantified through the “Left Ventricle Ejection Fraction,” a measure of how much blood the heart pumps with each contraction. A patient with an LVEF of less than 40% is considered to suffer severe heart failure. When the study began, Bolli’s patients had an average LVEF of 30.3%. Four months after receiving stem cells, it was 38.5%. Among seven patients who were followed for a full year, it improved to an astounding 42.5%. A control group of seven patients, given nothing but standard maintenance medications, showed no improvement at all.

“We were surprised by the magnitude of improvement,” says Bolli, who says traditional therapies, such as placing a stent to physically widen the patient’s artery, typically make a smaller difference. Prior to treatment, Mike Jones couldn’t walk to the restroom without stopping for breath, says Bolli. “Now he can drive a tractor on his farm, even play basketball with his grandchildren. His life was transformed.”

At Cedars-Sinai, 17 patients, including Milles, were given stem cells approximately six weeks after suffering a moderate to major heart attack. All had lost enough tissue to put them “at big risk” of future heart failure, according to Dr. Eduardo Marban, the director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, who developed the stem cell procedure used there.

The results were striking. Not only did scar tissue retreat — shrinking 40% in Ken Milles, and between 30% and 47% in other test subjects — but the patients actually generated new heart tissue. On average, the stem cell recipients grew the equivalent of 600 million new heart cells, according to Marban, who used MRI imaging to measure changes. By way of perspective, a major heart attack might kill off a billion cells.

“This is unprecedented, the first time anyone has grown living heart muscle,” says Marban. “No one else has demonstrated that. It’s very gratifying, especially when the conventional teaching has been that the damage is irreversible.”

Perhaps even more important, no treated patient in either study suffered a significant health setback.

The twin findings are a boost to the notion that the heart contains the seeds of its own rebirth. For years, doctors believed that heart cells, once destroyed, were gone forever. But in a series of experiments, researchers including Bolli’s collaborator, Dr. Piero Anversa, found that the heart contains a type of stem cell that can develop into either heart muscle or blood vessel components — in essence, whatever the heart requires at a particular point in time. The problem for patients like Mike Jones or Ken Milles is that there simply aren’t enough of these repair cells waiting around. The experimental treatments involve removing stem cells through a biopsy, and making millions of copies in a laboratory.

The Bolli/Anversa group and Marban’s team both used cardiac stem cells, but Bolli and Anversa “purified” the CSCs, so that more than 90% of the infusion was actual stem cells. Marban, on the other hand, used a mixture of stem cells and other types of cells extracted from the patient’s heart. “We’ve found that the mixture is more potent than any subtype we’ve been able to isolate,” he says. He says the additional cells may help by providing a supportive environment for the stem cells to multiply.

Other scientists, including Dr. Douglas Losordo, have produced improvements in cardiac patients using stem cells derived from bone marrow. “The body contains cells that seem to be pre-programmed for repair,” explains Losordo. “The consistent thing about all these approaches is that they’re leveraging what seems to be the body’s own repair mechanism.”

Losordo praised the Lancet paper, and recalls the skepticism that met Anversa’s initial claims, a decade ago, that there were stem cells in the adult heart. “Some scientists are always resistant to that type of novelty. You know the saying: First they ignore you, then they attack you and finally they imitate you.”

Denis Buxton, who oversees stem cell research at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health, calls the new studies “a paradigm shift, harnessing the heart’s own regenerative processes.” But he says he would like to see more head-to-head comparisons to determine which type of cells are most beneficial.

Questions also remain about timing. Patients who suffer large heart attacks are prone to future damage, in part because the weakened heart tries to compensate by dilating — swelling — and by changing shape. In a vicious circle, the changes make the heart a less efficient pump, which leads to more overcompensation, and so on, until the end result is heart failure. Marban’s study aimed to treat patients before they could develop heart failure in the first place.

In a third study released Monday, researchers treated patients with severe heart failure with stem cells derived from bone marrow. In a group of 60 patients, those receiving the treatment had fewer heart problems over the course of a year, as well as improved heart function.

A fourth study also used cells derived from bone marrow, but injected them into patients two to three weeks after a heart attack. Previous studies, with the cells given just days afterward, found a modest improvement in heart function. But Monday, the lead researcher, Dr. Dan Simon of UH Case Medical Center, reported that with the three-week delay, patients did not see the same benefit.

With other methods, there may be a larger window of opportunity. At least in initial studies, Losordo’s bone marrow treatments helped some patients with long-standing heart problems. Bolli’s Lancet paper suggests that CSCs, too, might help patients with advanced disease. “These patients had had heart failure for several years. They were a wreck!” says Bolli. “But we found their stem cells were still very competent.” By that, he means the cells were still capable of multiplying and of turning into useful muscle and blood vessel walls.

Marban has an open mind on the timing issue. In fact, one patient from his control group e-mailed after the study was complete, saying he felt terrible and pleading for an infusion of stem cells. At Marban’s request, the FDA granted special approval to treat him. “He had a very nice response. That was 14 months after his heart attack. Of course that’s just one person, and we need bigger studies,” says Marban.

For Ken Milles, the procedure itself wasn’t painful, but it was unsettling. The biopsy to harvest the stem cells felt “weird,” he recalls, as he felt the doctor poking around inside his heart. The infusion, a few weeks later, was harder. The procedure — basically the same as an angioplasty — involved stopping blood flow through the damaged artery for three minutes, while the stem cells were infused. “It felt exacfly like I was having a heart attack again,” Milles remembers.

Milles had spent the first weeks after his heart attack just lying in bed re-watching his “Sopranos” DVDs, but within a week of the stem cell infusion, he says, “I was reinvigorated.” Today he’s back at work full time, as an accounting manager at a construction company. He’s cut out fast food and shed 50 pounds. His wife and two teenage sons are thrilled.

Denis Buxton says the new papers could prove a milestone. “We don’t have anything else to actually regenerate the heart. These stem cell therapies have the possibility of actually reversing damage.”

Bolli says he’ll have to temper his enthusiasm until he can duplicate the results in larger studies, definitive enough to get stem cell therapy approved as a standard treatment. “If a phase 3 study confirmed this, it would be the biggest advance in cardiology in my lifetime. We would possibly be curing heart failure. It would be a revolution.”

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Studies: Stem cells reverse heart damage – CNN

STEM CELLS – Issue – Wiley Online Library

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Video abstract from Drs. Banerjee, Surendran, Bharti, Morishita, Varshney, and Pal on their recently published STEM CELLS paper entitled, “Long non-coding RNA RP11-380D23.2 drives distal-proximal patterning of the lung by regulating PITX2 expression.” Read the paper here.

Video abstract from Drs. Sayed, Ospino, Himmati, Lee, Chanda, Mocarski, and Cooke on their recently published STEM CELLS paper entitled, “Retinoic Acid Inducible Gene 1 Protein (RIG1)-like Receptor Pathway is Required for Efficient Nuclear Reprogramming.” Read the paper here.

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STEM CELLS – Issue – Wiley Online Library

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Cardiovascular …

Nearly 500,000 people in the US die of sudden cardiac death each year, and long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a major form of sudden cardiac death. LQTS can be triggered by drug exposure or stresses. Drug-induced LQTS is the single most common reason for drugs to be withdrawn from clinical trials, causing major setbacks to drug discovery efforts and exposing people to dangerous drugs. In most cases, the mechanism of drug-induced LQTS is unknown. However, there are genetic forms of LQTS that should allow us to make iPS cellderived heart cells that have the key features of LQTS. Our objective is to produce a cell-based test for LQTS with induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology, which allows adult cells to be reprogrammed to be stem celllike cells.Despite the critical need, current tests for drug-induced LQTS are far from perfect. As a result, potentially unsafe drugs enter clinical trials, endangering people and wasting millions of dollars in research funds. When drugs that cause LQTS, such as terfenadine (Seldane), enter the market, millions of people are put at serious risk. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to know when a drug will cause LQTS, since most people who develop LQTS have no known genetic risk factors. The standard tests for LQTS use animal models or hamster cells that express human heart genes at high levels. Unfortunately, cardiac physiology in animal models (rabbits and dogs) differs from that in humans, and hamster cells lack many key features of human heart cells. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) can be differentiated into heart cells, but we do not know the culture conditions that would make the assay most similar to LQTS in a living person. These problems could be solved if we had a method to grow human heart cells from people with genetic LQTS mutations, so that we know the exact test conditions that would reflect the human disease. This test would be much more accurate than currently available tests and would help enable the development of safer human pharmaceuticals.Our long-term goal is to develop a panel of iPS cell lines that better represent the genetic diversity of the human population. Susceptibility to LQTS varies, and most people who have life-threatening LQTS have no known genetic risk factors. We will characterize iPS cells with well-defined mutations that have clinically proven responses to drugs that cause LQTS. These iPS cell lines will be used to refine testing conditions. To validate the iPS cellbased test, the results will be directly compared to the responses in people. These studies will provide the foundation for an expanded panel of iPS cell lines from people with other genetic mutations and from people who have no genetically defined risk factor but still have potentially fatal drug-induced LQTS. This growing panel of iPS cell lines should allow for testing drugs for LQTS more effectively and accurately than any current test.To meet these goals, we made a series of iPS cells that harbor different LQTS mutations. These iPS cells differentiate into beating cardiomyocytes. We are now evaluating these LQTS cell lines in cellular assays. We are hopeful that our studies will meet or exceed all the aims of our original proposal.

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Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Cardiovascular …

Development of 3D Bioprinting Techniques using Human …

In this project, we aim to develop a 3D bioprinting technology to create functional cardiac tissues via encapsulation of cardiomyocytes derived from hESCs. To further improve their viability and cardiac functionality, we are developing a new vascularization technique to enhance the cardiac tissue model through the incorporation of functional vasculature using 3D bioprinting. In Specific Aim 1, we have successfully developed and optimized a rapid 3D bioprinting technique to create biomimetic 3D micro-architectures using hyaluronic acid (HA)-based biomaterials and hESC-derived cardiomyocytes. A protocol for the synthesis of the photopolymeriable hydrogel biomaterial (hyaluronic acid-glycidyl methacrylate (HA-GM)) proposed for use with the 3D bioprinting platform has been created and refined. HA-GM chemical synthesis efficiency was evaluated. H7 human embryonic stem cells (hESC) were used. These hESC derived cardiomyoctes (hESC-CMs) were shown to be well differentiated based on examining surface markers (Nkx2.5 & cardiac troponin T) and mRNA expression (Nkx2.5, ISL1, MYL2, and MYL7). These cells have been encapsulated within a 3D vasculature pattern of photopolymerized HA-GM hydrogel biomaterial. Digital images derived from a 3D model of the heart have been printed and the direct printing of biomaterials and cell-laden materials has been successfully achieved. Fluorescent staining showed encapsulated cell survival of this structure after 2-weeks of incubation. We have successfully measured the physiological function of cells embedded within the hydrogel constructs. We assessed changes in the cell viability, alignment and function of cells within hydrogel constructs. We successfully characterized electrical function of cardiomyocytes by optical mapping of Spontaneous Beats in unpatterned and patterned tissue constructs. We further measured mechanical function in the tissue constructs by cantilever displacement. We have also measured calcium transients in our 3D printed tissue constructs by live confocal imaging at varying frequencies. In Specific Aim 2, we have created an advanced vascularization technique for 3D pre-vascularized cardiac tissues with precise control of spatial organization. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were encapsulated within a mesh of hexagonal channels and cardiomyocytes were encapsulated within islands between these channels to demonstrate the capability of spatially printing distinct cell populations into a simple prevascularized co-culture model. Cells in this bioprinted configuration showed proliferation and viability. To investigate the formation of the endothelial network, we performed immunofluorescence staining on the prevascularized tissues after 1-week culture in vitro. Human-specific CD31 staining (green) in confocal microscopy shows the conjunctive network formation of HUVECs at different patterned channel widths.

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Development of 3D Bioprinting Techniques using Human …

Home – STEM CELL SCIENCE

Stem cell can be isolated from the the bone marrow and adipose tissue in the abdomen that are capable of forming new blood vessels and heart muscle cells. The cell number is so small in the tissues that the cells should be grown for several weeks before there is enough for the treatment of patients.

We have conducted three clinical stem cell therapy studies in which patients with coronary artery disease havebeen treated with their own mesenchymal stem cells from either the bone marrow or adipose tissue. Encouraging results are available from two studies and there is ongoing follow-up in the third study. Treatments with stem cells have in all previous studies been without any side effects.

During the course of the SCIENCE study a total of 138 patients with heart failure will be included and treated in a so-called blinded placebo-controlled design. This means that 92 patients will receive stem cells and 46 patients placebo (inactive medication, saline). Choice of treatment will be done by drawing lots. The study is carried out by an international collaboration between cardiac centers in Denmark, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Austria and Sloveniaand the industrial partners Terumo BCT and COOK Tegentec.

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Autologous cardiac-derived cells for advanced ischemic …

Disease Team Award DR1-01461, autologous cardiac-derived cells for advanced ischemic cardiomyopathy, is targeted at developing novel therapies for the treatment of heart failure, a condition which afflicts 7 million Americans. Heart failure, when symptomatic, has a mortality exceeding that of many malignant tumors; new therapies are desperately needed. In the second year of CIRM support, pivotal pre-clinical studies have been completed. We have found that dose-optimized injection of CSps preserves systolic function, attenuates remodeling, decreases scar size and increases viable myocardium in a porcine model of ischemic cardiomyopathy. The 3D microtissues engraft efficiently in preclinical models of heart failure, as expected from prior work indicating their complex multi-layer nature combining cardiac progenitors, supporting cells and derivatives into the cardiomyocyte and endothelial lineages. Analysis of the MRI data continues. We have developed standard operating procedures for cardiosphere manufacturing and release criteria, product and freezing/thawing stability testing have been completed for the 3D microtissue development candidate. We have identified two candidate potency assays for future development. The disease team will evaluate the results of the safety study (immunology, histology, and markers of ischemic injury) and complete the pivotal pig study in Q1 2012. With data in hand, full efforts will be placed on preparation of the IND for Q2 2012 submission.

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Autologous cardiac-derived cells for advanced ischemic …

Allogeneic Cardiac-Derived Stem Cells for Patients …

This project aims to demonstrate both safety and efficacy of a heart-derived cell product in patients who have experienced a heart attack either recently or in the past by conducting a mid-stage (Phase II) clinical trial. The cell product is manufactured using heart tissue obtained from a healthy donor and can be used in most other individuals. Its effect is thought to be long-lasting (months-years) although it is expected to be cleared from the body relatively quickly (weeks-months). Treatment is administered during a single brief procedure, requiring a local anesthetic and insertion of a tube (or catheter) into the heart. The overriding goal for the product is to prevent patients who have had a heart attack from deteriorating over time and developing heart failure, a condition which is defined by the hearts inability to pump blood efficiently and one which affects millions of Americans. At the outset of the project, a Phase I trial was underway. The Phase II trial was initiated at the beginning of the current reporting period, and all subjects enrolled in Phase I completed follow up during the current reporting period. Fourteen patients were treated with the heart-derived cell product as part of Phase I. The safety endpoint for the trial was pre-defined and took into consideration the following: inflammation in the heart accompanied by an immune response, death due to abnormal heart rhythms, sudden death, repeat heart attack, treatment for symptoms of heart failure, need for a heart assist device, and need for a heart transplant. Both an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) and CIRM agreed that Phase I met its safety endpoint. Preliminary efficacy data from Phase I collected during the current reporting period showed evidence of improvements in scar size, a measure of damage in the heart, and ejection fraction, a measure of the hearts ability to pump blood. At the end of the current reporting period, Phase II is still enrolling subjects and clinical trial sites are still being brought on for participation in the trial. Meanwhile, the manufacturing processes established continue to be employed to create cell products for use in Phase II. Manufacturing data and trial status updates were also provided to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of standard annual reporting.

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Allogeneic Cardiac-Derived Stem Cells for Patients …

Embryonic Stem Cells | Stem Cells Freak

As their name suggests, embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are stem cells that are derived from embryos. If we wanted to be more scientific, we would say that ESCs are pluripotent stem cells derived from a blastocyst, an embryo in a very early stage (4-5 days of age).A blastocyst is consisted of 50-150 cells. ESCs measure approximately 14m in diameter.

The use of human embryonic stem cells is highly controversial, as their extraction requires the destruction of a human embryo, raising a great number of ethical issues. The main one is whether a blastocyst can be considered a living person or not. Check our article, Stem Cell Controversy for more info on this topic

Embryonic Stem cell propertiesThere are two important attributes that distinguish stem cells from any other typical cell:

Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, having the capacity to differentiate and develop into almost all kinds of cells belonging to thethree primary germ layers:

As for self-renewal, ES cells have the capacity to replicate indefinitely. In other words they have the ability, under the proper conditions, to produce infinite numbers of daughter cells just from one or a few father cells.

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Extraction And CultureFirst the inner cell mass (ICM) of the blastocyst is separated from the trophectoderm. Then the cells of the ICM are placed on aplastic laboratory culture dish that contains a nutrient broth called the “culture medium”.Typically the inner surface of the dish is coated with what is called a “feeder layer”, consisting of reprogrammed embryonic mouse skin cells that don’t divide. These mouse cells lay in the bottom of the dish and act as a support for the hESCs. The feeder layer not only provides support, but it also releases all the needed nutrients for thehESCs to grow and replicate. Recently, scientists have devised new ways for culturing hESCs without the need of a mouse feeder cell, a really important advance as there is always the danger of viruses being transmitted from the mouse cells to the human embryonic stem cells.

It should be noted that the process described above isn’t always successful, and many times the cells fail to replicate and/or survive. If on the other hand, the hESCs do manage to survive and multiply enough so that the dish is “full”, they have to be removed and plated into several dishes. This replating and subculturing process can be done again and again for many months. This way we can get millions and millions of hESCs from the handful ones we had at the beginning.

At any stage of the process, a batch of hESCs can be frozen for future use or to be sent somewhere else for further culturing and experimentation.

How are human embryonic stem cells induced to differentiate ?There are various options for researchers to choose from, if they decide to differentiate the cultured cells.

The easiest one, is to simply allow the cells to replicate until the disc is “full”. Once the disc is full, they start to clump together forming embryoid bodies(rounded collections of cells ). These embryoid bodies contain all kinds of cells including muscle, nerve, blood and heart cells. As said before, although this is easiest method to induce differentiation, it is the most inefficient and unpredictable as well.

In order to induce differentiation to a specific type of cell, researchers have to change the environment of the dish by employingone of the ways below:

Human Embryonic Stem Cells, potential usesMany researchers believe that studying hESCs is crucial for fully understanding the complex events happening during the fetal development. This knowledge would also include all the complex mechanisms that trigger undifferentiated stem cells to develop into tissues and organs. A deeper understanding of all these mechanisms would in return give scientists a deeper understanding of what sometimes goes wrong and as a result tumours,birth defects and other genetic conditions occur, thus helping them to come up with effective treatments.

Several new studies also address the fact that human embryonicstem cells can be used as models for human genetic disorders that currently have no reliable model system. Two examples are the Fragile-X syndromeandCystic fibrosis.

As of now, there has been only one human clinical trial ,involving embryonic stem cells, with the officialapproval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).The trial started on January 23, 2009, and involved the transplantation ofoligodendrocytes (a cell type of the brain and spinal cord) derived from human embryonic stem cells. During phase I of the trial, 8 to 10paraplegics with fresh spinal cord injuries (two weeks or less) were supposed to participate.

In August 2009,the trial wasput on hold, due to concerns made by the FDA, regarding a small number of microscopic cysts found in several treated rat models. InJuly 30, 2010 the hold was lifted and researchers enrolled the first patient and administered him with the stem cell therapy.

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Embryonic Stem Cells | Stem Cells Freak

"Latest Stem Cells News" – news from the world about stem …

To meet the industry needs and to benefit students and research scholars, Nitte University has set up the a centre for stem cell research at K S Hedge Medical Academy (Kshema).

The Nitte University Centre for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine (NUCSReM), has been established to further advance the understanding of stem cell biology and to facilitate clinical application of stem cells to treat patients with various ailments, says N Vinaya Hegde, chancellor, Nitte University.

Gianvito Martino, the head of the Neurosciences division at the Institute of San Raffaele in Milan in a speech at Multiple Sclerosis Week, which took place from May 23-31, warned against trips of hope to clinics that promise effective treatments using stem cells.

According to Martino, who coordinated a Consensus Conference on last Tuesday in London on the neurodegenerative disease, where the guidelines for pre-clinical studies and clinical treatments with stem cells were defined, hundreds of Italian patients each year go on these trips due to cures that are promised. In the best-case scenario, these patients return in the Read More

Scientists have claimed they would serve the worlds first test tube hamburger this October.

A team, led by Prof Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, says it has already grown artificial meat in the laboratory, and now aims to create a hamburger, identical to a real stuff, by generating strips of meat from stem cells.

The finished product is expected to cost nearly 220,000 pounds, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Prof Post said his team has successfully replicated the process with cow cells and calf serum, bringing the first artificial burger a step closer.

In October we are going to provide a Read More

Studies begun by Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) scientists eight years ago have led to a report published today that may be amount to a major step in developing treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrigs disease.

The findings by Kevin Eggan, a professor in Harvards Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (HSCRB), and colleagues also has produced functionally identical results in human motor neurons in a laboratory dish and in a mouse model of the disease, demonstrating that modeling the human disease with customized stem cells in the laboratory could relatively soon eliminate some Read More

Frank LaFerla, left, Mathew Blurton-Jones and colleagues found that neural stem cells could be a potential treatment for advanced Alzheimer’s disease

UC Irvine scientists have shown for the first time that neural stem cells can rescue memory in mice with advanced Alzheimers disease, raising hopes of a potential treatment for the leading cause of elderly dementia that afflicts 5.3 million people in the U.S.

Mice genetically engineered to have Alzheimers performed markedly better on memory tests a month after mouse neural stem cells were injected into their brains. The stem cells secreted a protein that created more neural connections, improving Read More

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"Latest Stem Cells News" – news from the world about stem …

Cardiac Stem Cells – Cedars-Sinai

Preclinical Research

Scientists are developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases using cardiac-derived stem cells in mice and large-animal models. Three current projects are studying:

ExosomesOur researchers are isolating exosomes from specialized human cardiac-derived stem cells and finding that they have the same beneficial effects as other types of stem cells. In mice models, our research shows that exosomes produce the same post-surgery benefits, such as decreasing scar size, increasing healthy heart tissue and reducing levels of chemicals that lead to inflammation. This research suggests that exosomes convey messages that reduce cell death, promote growth of new heart muscle cells and encourage the development of healthy blood vessels.

Mechanisms of Heart Regeneration by Cardiosphere-Derived CellsInvestigators seek to understand the basic mechanisms of coronary artery disease in preclinical disease models. We hope to gather novel mechanistic insights, enabling us to boost the efficacy of stem cell-based treatments by bolstering the regeneration of injured heart muscle.

Biological PacemakersUsing an engineered virus carrying T-box (TBx18), Cedars-Sinai researchers are reprogramming heart muscle cells (cardiomyoctes) into induced sinoatrial node cells in pigs. Cedars-Sinai research shows that these new cells generate electrical impulses spontaneously and are indistinguishable from sinoatrial node or native pacemaker cells. Investigators believe this could be a viable therapeutic avenue for pacemaker-dependent patients afflicted with device-related complications.

Researchers hope to someday incorporate therapeutic regeneration as a regular treatment option for a broad range of cardiovascular disorders, such as myocardial infarctions, heart failure, refractory angina and peripheral vascular disease. Through the Regenerative Medicine Clinic at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, several cardiac stem cell trials are underway. They include:

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Cardiac Stem Cells – Cedars-Sinai

Stem Cells Repair Heart in First-Ever Study – webmd.com

Nov. 14, 2011 — The first use of heart stem cells in humans looks like a major breakthrough for people suffering heart failure after heart attacks.

It’s early — results are in for only the first 16 patients — but the results already are drawing praise from experts not easily impressed by first reports.

“This is a groundbreaking study of extreme importance,” Joshua Hare, MD, director of the University of Miami’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, tells WebMD via email. Hare was not involved in the study.

“The reported benefits are of an unexpected magnitude,” writes Gerd Heusch, MD, PhD, chair of the Institute of Pathophysiology at the University of Essen, Germany, in an editorial in the Nov. 14 online issue of The Lancet.

Study researcher John H. Loughran, MD, of the University of Louisville, Ky., could barely contain his excitement in an interview with WebMD.

“The improvement we have seen in patients is quite encouraging,” he says. “Michael Jones, our first patient, could barely walk 30 feet [before treatment]. I saw him this morning. He says he plays basketball with his granddaughter, works on his farm, and gets on the treadmill for 30 minutes three times a week. It is stories like that that makes these results really encouraging.”

The breakthrough comes just as researchers were becoming discouraged by studies in which bone-marrow stem cells failed to heal damaged hearts.

Instead of getting stem cells from the bone marrow, the new technique harvests stem cells taken from the patients’ own hearts during bypass surgery. Just 1 gram of heart tissue — about 3.5 hundredths of an ounce — is taken.

Using a technique invented by Brigham & Women’s Hospital researchers Piero Anversa, MD, and colleagues, heart stem cells are taken from the tissue and grown in the lab. These adult stem cells already are committed to becoming heart cells, but they can transform into any of the three different kinds of heart tissues.

It’s the first time tissue-specific stem cells, other than bone-marrow cells, have been tested in humans, Hare says.

In the study, about a million of the cells were infused into each patient’s heart with a catheter. Calculations suggest that each of these infused cells could generate 4 trillion new heart cells.

The study was designed to show whether the technique was safe. It was: No harmful effects have been seen. But to the researchers’ surprise, the relatively small number of cells infused into patients had a major effect.

Of the 14 patients analyzed so far, heart function improved dramatically. And in the eight patients seen one year after treatment, improvement appears to have continued. Moreover, the scars on patients hearts — areas of dead tissue killed during their heart attacks — are healing.

And patients aren’t just doing better on measures of heart function. Like Michael Jones, they report vastly improved quality of life and ability to perform daily tasks.

“Now this is an open-label trial, so patients know they are treated. This means we have to take what they say with a grain of salt,” Loughran says. “But we see these patients not only are feeling better but doing more.”

The only downside of this early success is that the ongoing study already has enrolled all 20 of the patients who will be treated. The experimental treatment simply will not be available to other patients in the near future. A larger, phase II study is planned.

“All the patients that call in to us, and there are quite a few interested, we encourage them to maintain close contact with their doctors,” Loughran says. “Lifestyle changes and medical management are the most important things for them right now. We will be working very hard to get new trials under way.”

The findings were reported at the American Heart Associations Scientific Sessions meeting in Orlando, Fla., and in the Nov. 14 online edition of The Lancet.

SOURCES:

John H. Loughran, MD, fellow in cardiovascular medicine, University of Louisville, Ky.

Joshua Hare, MD, director, Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, University of Miami.

Bolli, R. The Lancet, published online Nov. 14, 2011.

Heusch, G. The Lancet, published online Nov. 14, 2011.

Traverse, J.H. Journal of the American Medical Association, published online Nov. 14, 2011.

Hare, J. Journal of the American Medical Association, published online Nov. 14, 2011.

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Stem Cells Repair Heart in First-Ever Study – webmd.com

About Stem Cells

Stem cells are found in the early embryo, the foetus, amniotic fluid, the placenta and umbilical cord blood. After birth and for the rest of life, stem cells continue to reside in many sites of the body, including skin, hair follicles, bone marrow and blood, brain and spinal cord, the lining of the nose, gut, lung, joint fluid, muscle, fat, and menstrual blood, to name a few.In the growing body, stem cells are responsible for generating new tissues, and once growth is complete, stem cells are responsible for repair and regeneration of damaged and ageing tissues. The question that intrigues medical researchers is whether you can harness the regenerative potential of stem cells and be able to grow new cells for treatments to replace diseased or damaged tissue in the body.

To find out more about how stem cells are used in research and in the development of new treatments download a copy of The Australian Stem Cell Handbook or visit Stem Cell Clinical Trials to find out more about the latest clinical research using stem cells.

Stem cells can be divided into two broad groups:tissue specific stem cells(also known as adult stem cells) andpluripotent stem cells(including embryonic stem cells and iPS cells).

To learn more about the different types of stem cells visit our frequently asked questions page.

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About Stem Cells

Stem Cell Factor Tied to Reduced Risk of Cardiac Events, Death – Anti Aging News

High levels of stem cell factor (SCF) are associated with reduced risk of mortality and cardiovascular events, according to a study published online Aug. 26 in theJournal of Internal Medicine.

(HealthDay News) — High levels of stem cell factor (SCF) are associated with reduced risk of mortality and cardiovascular events, according to a study published online Aug. 26 in theJournal of Internal Medicine.

Harry Bjrkbacka, Ph.D., from Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues examined the correlation between circulating levels of SCF and risk for development of cardiovascular events and death. SCF was analyzed from plasma from 4,742 participants in the Malm Diet and Cancer Study; participants were followed for a mean of 19.2 years.

The researchers found that participants with high baseline levels of SCF had lower cardiovascular and all-cause mortality and reduced risk of heart failure, stroke, and myocardial infarction. There was a correlation for smoking, diabetes, and high alcohol consumption with lower levels of SCF. After adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, the highest versus the lowest SCF quartile remained independently associated with lower risk of cardiovascular (hazard ratio, 0.59; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.43 to 0.81) and all-cause mortality (hazard ratio, 0.68; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.57 to 0.81) and with lower risk of heart failure (hazard ratio, 0.5; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.31 to 0.8) and stroke (hazard ratio, 0.66; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.47 to 0.92) but not myocardial infarction (hazard ratio, 0.96; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.72 to 1.27).

“The findings provide clinical support for a protective role of SCF in maintaining cardiovascular integrity,” the authors write.

The possibilities that stem cell therapies present in the prevention, regeneration, and treatment of many health conditions seem to be still untouched. If course, stem cell research is still ongoing and no one is complete stem cell expert yet, but maybe thats a good approach to take. I am not so sure I would be comfortable in this modern area of easily accessible information with a physician that still doesnt consider his or her self a student. Whether your doctor is 65 or 38 I hope they are still open to learning, stated Dr. Ronald Klatz, President of the A4M.

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Stem Cell Factor Tied to Reduced Risk of Cardiac Events, Death – Anti Aging News

Cardiac Stem Cells May Be Fountain of Youth – Top Secret Writers

Scientists around the world are researching ways to reverse the aging process. There have been a few scientific breakthroughs in the last years, such as a March 2013, Science report. The report discussed how a team of scientists at the University of New South Wales had successfully reversed the aging process in mice with a NAD+ booster, NMN that stimulated the natural repair processes in cells (1).

In August 2017, a different technique was reported. According to ScienceDaily. its being touted as a possible fountain of youth. The ability to rejuvenate the heart and even reverse aging is the claim of a recent study (2).

The European Heart Journal published the study where researchers injected cardiac stem cells taken from the hearts of newborn lab rats into the hearts of old rats (22 months old, which is considered old for a rat lifespan). The result was a reversal in their aging hearts. The paper claims that the old rats appeared newly invigorated after receiving their injections.

In fact, the researchers noticed a 20% increase in the old rats exercising ability. Certainly, the scientists anticipated that this treatment would improve the old rats hearts, what they didnt expect were other benefits, such as the rat fur (shaved away for the surgery) growing back faster than normal.

In addition, the scientists noticed that the rats telomeres had changed. Instead shrinking, the common effect of aging, the telomers in the treated rats actually lengthened. This was an astounding side-effect of the cardiac stem cell injections.

Telomeres are repetitive nucleotide sequences that are found along the ends of chromosomes and become like protective caps. They prevent the ends of the chromosomes from deteriorating, as well as fusing with other chromosomes. Unfortunately, this protection begins to wear away with age and the length of the telomeres shorten as the body ages (3).To discover that the rats telomeres grew longer along with other systemic rejuvenating effects, the primary investigator on the research and director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute Dr Eduardo Marbn proclaimed that it was like discovering, an unexpected fountain of youth.

Dr Marbns team completed the worlds first cardiac stem cell infusion in 2009. Dr Marbn developed the process of growing cardiac-derived stem cells when he was at John Hopkins University. Hes continued his research at Cedars-Sinai.

Conducting research in various heart-related cell therapy for more than 12 years, some of that research included using cardiosphere-derived cells.

According to Life Map Discovery, Cardiosphere-derived cells are isolated from atrial or ventricular biopsy specimens of patients undergoing heart surgery. The tissues are processed and cultured until a fibroblast-like cell layer forms. In this process, some cells migrate to this layer and techs can use them to further isolate and culture to create cardiospheres (4).

A March 2012 publication by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) discussed the injection of cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs) into infarcted mouse hearts. The injections resulted in superior improvement of cardiac function. (5)

According to Dr Marbn, Our previous lab studies and human clinical trials have shown promise in treating heart failure using cardiac stem cell infusions.

In the teams latest study, they used a specific type of stem cells taken from the newborn rats. Instead of stem cells, anther group received a placebo treatment consisting of saline injections. Each group was then compare to a group of four-month-old rats.

ScienceDaily reported that Dr Marbn stated that the cardiac stem cells secrete, tiny vesicles that are chock-full of signaling molecules such as RNA and proteins. Apparently, its the vesicles found in the young cells that, contain all the needed instructions to turn back the clock.

With these latest results, he said, Now we find that these specialized stem cells could turn out to reverse problems associated with aging of the heart.

The team is underway with more research, such as the ability to recreate the same results by administering the stem cells via IV (Intravenous) or with non-newborn cardiac stem cells. According to co-primary investigator and the first author of the study Lilian Grigorian-Shamagian, MD, PhD, their study didnt measure whether receiving the cardiosphere-derived cells extended lifespans. This will be another area the team plans to investigate.

References & Image Credits:(1) How NASA Anti-aging Drug Works(2) Science Daily(3) Wikipedia(4) LifeMapSC(5) OnlineJACC

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Cardiac Stem Cells May Be Fountain of Youth – Top Secret Writers

Damaged hearts being repaired with stem cells – FOX 13 News, Tampa Bay

TAMPA (FOX 13) – Repairing a damaged heart has become much more than opening clogged arteries in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Pepin Heart Hospital in Tampa.

Dr. Charles Lambert and his team are injecting stem cells directly into specific areas in the walls of damaged hearts.

“We know where viable tissue is, what part of the heart is contracting and has live cells there,” he explains.

Finding that living tissue begins with creating a color-coded map of the heart identifying areas where blood flow is maximized.

“We go back after mapping with a needle that comes out of the catheter and we do roughly twenty injections in viable tissue area,” Lambert says.

It’s all part of an experimental clinical trial Shiela Allen hopes will help her failing heart recover. Less than two hours after welcoming her youngest grandchild into this world, her grandson drove her to the emergency room.

“I couldn’t breathe,” she recalled.

Sheila was shocked when doctors told her that her heart was pumping at less than half of what it should.

“Now that I look back, I can figure out I had all the symptoms but I was just putting it off because I’m busy, I’m old, I’m a little bit overweight,” she admits.

Like many women, Sheila ignored warning signs like fatigue, coughing and shortness of breath – especially when lying down.

“The coughing was odd to me because I was not congested, I could not lay flat in bed so I was propped up on four or five pillows,” she says.

Similar to a balloon filled with too much water, the cardiac muscle is overstretched, thin, and weak. So weak, it can only pump a fraction of the blood inside its chambers to the rest of the body. That causes fluid to back up into the lungs and other parts of the body like the legs.

For about a decade, cardiologists have tried using stem cells to strengthen the muscle with mixed results. This study is hoping a new twist, will make it more successful.

Along with using the heart map to direct the injections, the stem cells are also different. Instead of taking them from the patient, syringes like these are filled with stem cells from donors.

“These trial cells are taken from healthy volunteers that are actually medical students, not here in town, but actually up in the northeast,” he explains.

Another key difference in the study is the product’s maker, Mesoblast. It is allowing people like Sheila, who have heart failure from unknown causes, to also enter the study. The clinical trial using the younger cells is now in 50 centers across the world.

“They’re preserved so when we randomize a patient we take it off the shelf, treat it, warm it, the cells are perfectly alive and healthy and then administer it to the patients,” Lambert says.

Side effects in earlier studies included a drop in blood pressure, bleeding, and fluid accumulation around the heart.

“It was basically like I was having another heart catheterization,” Sheila says her side effects were minimal. “Three days after the procedure I was on a plane going on a trip.”

She’s not sure if she got a placebo or the actual cells, but as she completes her cardiac rehabilitation therapy, she says she is feeling better, “I’ve had a little more energy I dont know if it’s related to that.”

Energy allowing her to spend time with her family, and watch her youngest grandchild grow.

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Damaged hearts being repaired with stem cells – FOX 13 News, Tampa Bay

Stem Cell Factor Tied to Reduced Risk of Cardiac Events, Death – Doctors Lounge

Category: Cardiology | Internal Medicine | Pathology | Pulmonology | Journal

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High levels of SCF linked to lower cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, heart failure, stroke

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THURSDAY, Aug. 31, 2017 (HealthDay News) — High levels of stem cell factor (SCF) are associated with reduced risk of mortality and cardiovascular events, according to a study published online Aug. 26 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Harry Bjrkbacka, Ph.D., from Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues examined the correlation between circulating levels of SCF and risk for development of cardiovascular events and death. SCF was analyzed from plasma from 4,742 participants in the Malm Diet and Cancer Study; participants were followed for a mean of 19.2 years.

The researchers found that participants with high baseline levels of SCF had lower cardiovascular and all-cause mortality and reduced risk of heart failure, stroke, and myocardial infarction. There was a correlation for smoking, diabetes, and high alcohol consumption with lower levels of SCF. After adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, the highest versus the lowest SCF quartile remained independently associated with lower risk of cardiovascular (hazard ratio, 0.59; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.43 to 0.81) and all-cause mortality (hazard ratio, 0.68; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.57 to 0.81) and with lower risk of heart failure (hazard ratio, 0.5; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.31 to 0.8) and stroke (hazard ratio, 0.66; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.47 to 0.92) but not myocardial infarction (hazard ratio, 0.96; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.72 to 1.27).

“The findings provide clinical support for a protective role of SCF in maintaining cardiovascular integrity,” the authors write.

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Stem Cell Factor Tied to Reduced Risk of Cardiac Events, Death – Doctors Lounge

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