SEP 08, 2020 1:33 PM PDT

Fixing Stem Cell Therapy for Heart Repair

WRITTEN BY: Jasper Cantrell

Repairing the damage done by a heart attack has been of keen interest for decades. Some researchers think protecting the heart is best, while others focus on repairing the damage after the fact.

Bone marrow-derived cells (BMCs) are a common stem cell type used in many therapies. Preclinical research has shown that it is effective at repairing heart damage after a heart attack. Unfortunately, these observations did not translate well into clinical trials. A team from the University of California in San Francisco thought they might know why.

You see, the team noted that the BMCs used in the clinical trials were taken after the heart attack. A heart attack causes massive trauma to the body, which might have affected the BMCs. In the preclinical mouse studies, BMCs from healthy mice were always used. The team started a new study theorizing that BMCs post-heart attack are ineffective at repairing heart damage, compared to BMCs from a healthy donor.

A previous mouse study led the team to believe that BMCs were most impaired if collected within a week of a heart attack but should be back to normal by week three. This observation was seen again in this study but did not translate into human cells. Human BMCs taken three weeks after a heart attack were just as ineffective at repairing heart damage as those taken immediately after the heart attack.

The team decided to take a look at the composition of healthy versus post-heart attack BMCs. There was a clear change in cellular composition after a heart attack. Analysis of miRNAs, critical regulatory molecules that can act as biomarkers, showed a pro-inflammatory profile. As heart attacks induce an inflammatory response in bone marrow, the team postulated this could be the reason they are ineffective compared to healthy BMCs.

This study revealed that mouse and human BMCs do not recover at the same rate and that the impaired healing of post-heart attack BMCs is likely due to inflammation. Other studies have found that the change in cellular composition, specifically the loss of certain B-cells, limits the BMCs therapeutic effectiveness. This points to the need for future clinical trials to use healthy BMC donors, rather than using a patient’s BMCs when it comes to healing heart damage.

The study concludes, “conclusion, post-MI human BM MNCs lack the therapeutic benefit that healthy human MNCs bestow on post-MI mice, when harvested up to 3 weeks after MI. This may partially explain why BMC therapy clinical trials have been less successful than rodent studies.”

Sources: PLOS ONE, UW Medicine

About the Author
  • Hey everyone! My name is Jasper and, considering I am pretty new here to Labroots, I figured I would introduce myself. I received my bachelor’s from the University of California at Riverside back in 2016. I started off my career a few years ago with a job at a University over in New York, before moving over into the industry. I'm happy to be writing content for Labroots, and I hope you enjoy it!
You May Also Like
JUN 01, 2020
Cardiology
Most Americans Do Not Adhere to All Recommended Healthy Behaviors
JUN 01, 2020
Most Americans Do Not Adhere to All Recommended Healthy Behaviors
Leading public health institutions, such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Dise ...
JUL 21, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
A Lab on a Chip Could Save Your Life in an Emergency
JUL 21, 2020
A Lab on a Chip Could Save Your Life in an Emergency
Picture this: a hiker on a backcountry trail falls down a rocky embankment, and is left with a deep gash on the leg afte ...
SEP 03, 2020
Cardiology
Does Hypertension Make It Harder to Recognize Others Emotions?
SEP 03, 2020
Does Hypertension Make It Harder to Recognize Others Emotions?
Have you ever felt your blood pressure rise when you get angry or stressed? Well, this phenomenon is unique in that it l ...
AUG 30, 2020
Cardiology
Plant-Based Diets Are Healthier When Low in Processed Foods
AUG 30, 2020
Plant-Based Diets Are Healthier When Low in Processed Foods
While many research studies have shown that reducing meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is healthier, not all ...
SEP 15, 2020
Cardiology
Dopamine Could Cause Heart Arrhythmia After Heart Failure
SEP 15, 2020
Dopamine Could Cause Heart Arrhythmia After Heart Failure
Everyone knows that friend with a tattoo of a molecule of dopamine. Usually associated with the pleasure response, it is ...
SEP 10, 2020
Cardiology
Many Doctors Have Used the Wrong Criteria to Diagnose Hypertension
SEP 10, 2020
Many Doctors Have Used the Wrong Criteria to Diagnose Hypertension
A recent survey has shown that most health care professionals may not be using the current information to screen for and ...
Loading Comments...