Understanding the application of stem cell therapy in cardiovascular diseases
Rakesh K Sharma, Donald J Voelker, Roma Sharma, Hanumanth K Reddy
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Medical Center of South Arkansas, El Dorado, AR, USA
Abstract: Throughout their lifetime, an individual may sustain many injuries and recover spontaneously over a period of time, without even realizing the injury in the first place. Wound healing occurs due to a proliferation of stem cells capable of restoring the injured tissue. The ability of adult stem cells to repair tissue is dependent upon the intrinsic ability of tissues to proliferate. The amazing capacity of embryonic stem cells to give rise to virtually any type of tissue has intensified the search for similar cell lineage in adults to treat various diseases including cardiovascular diseases. The ability to convert adult stem cells into pluripotent cells that resemble embryonic cells, and to transplant those in the desired organ for regenerative therapy is very attractive, and may offer the possibility of treating harmful disease-causing mutations. The race is on to find the best cells for treatment of cardiovascular disease. There is a need for the ideal stem cell, delivery strategies, myocardial retention, and time of administration in the ideal patient population. There are multiple modes of stem cell delivery to the heart with different cell retention rates that vary depending upon method and site of injection, such as intra coronary, intramyocardial or via coronary sinus. While there are crucial issues such as retention of stem cells, microvascular plugging, biodistribution, homing to myocardium, and various proapoptotic factors in the ischemic myocardium, the regenerative potential of stem cells offers an enormous impact on clinical applications in the management of cardiovascular diseases.
Keywords: stem cell therapy, stem cell delivery, cardiovascular diseases, myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy