Dual Stem Cell Therapy shows promising action in Cardiac Regeneration

Release Date: 19-Sep-2019

The prevalence rate of cardiovascular disease is increasing day by day. One of them is myocardial infarction (MI), which can inflict permanent and life-threatening damage to the heart. A joint research team consisting of scientists from City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has recently working on the combination of two stem cells in the management of myocardial Infarction.


They got success in the development of a multipronged approach for simultaneously regenerating both the muscle cells and vascular systems of the heart with the help of two types of stem cells. The outcome give hope to develop a new treatment for repairing MI heart, as an alternative to the existing complex and risky heart transplant for seriously-ill patients.


Dr Ban Kiwon, a stem cell biologist from Department of Biomedical Sciences at CityU, has been focusing on developing novel stem cell-based treatments for cardiac regeneration. He performs the work on the dual stem cell therapy with other researchers of Konkuk University, catgholic University, Pohang University and other Universities also.


They mainly target to concurrently regenerate both the heart muscles and the vasculatures by using two major types of stem cells, namely human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC-CMs).


The hMSCs was used in the research as they have a prominent paracrine activity and able to secret good proteins to promote the regeneration of blood vessels and the endothelial cell survival. The hiPSC-CMs were used due to their similarities with human primary cardiomyocytes in terms of the expressions of cardiac-specific genes, structural proteins, ion channels, and more importantly, the spontaneous contraction.


The result of this research shows that the dual approach led to a significant improvement of cardiac function and enhancement of vessel formation on a MI heart. The implanted hMSC-loaded patch is able to provide a favorable environment which promotes the vascular regeneration of the cardiac muscle. It also shows the action in the improvement in retention of hiPSC-CMs, ultimately augmenting heart function and restoring the injured myocardium.


 According to the Dr ban Kiwon, heart is an organ composed of cardiac muscles and blood vessels, where vessels are essential to supply oxygen and energy to the muscles. Since both cardiac muscles and vasculatures would be severely damaged following MI, the therapeutic strategies should focus on comprehensive repair of both at the same time. But so far the strategies only focus on either one.


The research works were published in scientific journal Nature Communications, under the titled “Dual stem cell therapy synergistically improves cardiac function and vascular regeneration following myocardial infarction”. The author of the research paper is Dr Ban, together with Dr Moon Sung-Hwan from Konkuk University School of Medicine and Professor Park Hun-Jun from The Catholic University of Korea.

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