Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, which has encouraged the search for new therapies that enable the treatment of patients in palliative and curative ways. In the past decade, the potential benefit of transplantation of cells that are able to substitute for the injured tissue has been studied with several cell populations, such as stem cells.
Some of these cell populations, such as myoblasts and bone marrow cells, are already being used in clinical trials. The laboratory of CM Verfaillie has studied primitive progenitors, termed multipotent adult progenitor cells, which can be isolated from adult bone marrow. These cells can differentiate in vitro at the single-cell level into functional cells that belong to the three germ layers and contribute to most, if not all, somatic cell types after blastocyst injection.
This remarkably broad differentiation potential makes this particular cell population a candidate for transplantation in tissues in need of regeneration. Here, we focus on the regenerative capacity of multipotent adult progenitor cells in several ischemic mouse models, such as acute and chronic myocardial infarction and limb ischemia.
CITATION Nat Clin Pract Cardiovasc Med. 2007 Feb;4 Suppl 1:S15-20