Cardiac regeneration is a rapidly evolving and controversial field of research. The identification some 12 years ago of progenitor cells that reside within the heart spurred enthusiasm for cell-based regenerative therapies. However, recent evidence has called into question both the presence of a biologically important stem cell population in the heart and the ability of exogenously derived cells to promote regeneration through direct formation of new cardiomyocytes. Here, we discuss recent developments that suggest an emerging consensus on the ability of different cell types to regenerate the adult mammalian heart.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the US National Institutes of Health (to J.H.v.B and J.D.M.). J.D.M. is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.