Heart damage repaired by induced stem cells: Study

Updated: Jul 21, 2009, 00:00 AM IST

Chicago: Researchers have managed to
reverse some of the damage caused by a heart attack using stem
cells that were induced from connective tissue cells,
according to a study.

The proof-of-concept study on mice is the first attempt
to use induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to treat heart

The goal is to one day be able to use a patient`s own
cells to repair their heart rather than replace it with a
donated heart, which are in short supply and require dangerous
drugs to stop the body from rejecting the foreign organ.

"This iPS innovation lays the groundwork for
translational applications," said study author Andre Terzic of
the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

"Through advances in nuclear reprogramming, we should be
able to reverse the fate of adult cells and customise `on
demand` cardiovascular regenerative medicine."

Terzic and his team genetically reprogrammed fibroblast
cells - which contribute to the formation of connective
tissues and scars - so that they became stem cells capable of
developing into new heart muscle.

They transplanted those cells into damaged mouse hearts
and found that within four weeks the cells had managed to:
stop progression of structural damage; restore heart muscle
performance lost after the heart attack; and regenerate tissue
at the site of the damage.

Bureau Report