UB Researchers Discover a Way to Reverse Heart Failure
A growth-factor chain of action that prompts bone marrow stem cells to repair cardiac tissue and reverse heart failure has been identified by researchers at the University at Buffalo's Center for Research in Cardiovascular Medicine.
Earlier research from this group showed for the first time that injecting bone marrow stem cells into skeletal muscle in an animal model increased two-fold the production of myocytes, a type of heart muscle cell. They now have insight into how the injected stem cells may rejuvenate the host tissue.
"By thoroughly understanding the interplay of stem cells and host tissue, and characterizing stem-cell-derived growth factors," says Techung Lee, PhD, senior author on both papers, "it is possible to assemble a cocktail of these factors and use it for tissue repair, much like the use of insulin for diabetes patients."
The heart disease death rate has dropped significantly in the last three decades due to better treatments, resulting in large numbers of people living with heart failure. However, heart transplantation is the only therapy currently available to reverse the continual decline in heart function, and donor hearts are scarce.
This research is supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. Results of the discovery of this distinct heart repair action appear online as an article-in-press in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart Circulation Physiology.