Autologous cell transplantation for the treatment of damaged myocardium

Marc S. Penn, Gary S. Francis, Stephen G. Ellis, James B. Young, Patrick M. McCarthy, Eric J. Topol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Autologous cell transplantation for the treatment of damaged myocardium after myocardial infarction is becoming an increasingly promising strategy. This form of treatment can be divided into 2 treatment strategies: The first uses differentiated cell types to replace the scarred tissue with living cells, while the second strategy uses stem cells in an attempt to regenerate myocardium. Over the past decade, multiple cell types have been used in animal studies, and clinical trials to determine the safety of injecting and engrafting skeletal myoblasts into damaged myocardium are presently being conducted. Animals studies focused on using stem cells to regenerate damaged myocardium have shown a naturally occurring reparative process that consists of up-regulation of progenitor cell release from the bone marrow after myocardial infarction, homing of these cells to the injured tissue, and differentiation of these progenitor cells into vascular cells and cardiac myocytes within the infarcted tissue. Unfortunately, this process occurs with great infrequency. Strategies to regenerate myocardium with stem cells either extract stem cells from the bone marrow and inject these cells into the damaged area or they attempt to increase the efficiency of the natural reparative process by increasing the mobilization of bone marrow-derived stem cells after myocardial infarction. This review summarizes the field of cell transplantation over the past decade, discusses areas of controversy, and proposes an outline of advancements that need to be made in both the clinical and scientific arenas for autologous cell transplantation to fully reach its clinical potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-32
Number of pages12
JournalProgress in Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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