Adult pig stem cells repair heart damage

Nov 14, 2006

U.S. scientists have successfully grown large numbers of stem cells from adult pigs' heart tissue and used the cells to repair heart attack damage.

The Johns Hopkins cardiologists extracted samples of heart tissue no bigger than a grain of rice within hours of the animals' lab-induced heart attacks. They then grew large numbers of cardiac stem cells in the lab from tissue obtained through biopsy, and, within a month, implanted the cells into the pigs' hearts.

Within two months the cells had developed into mature heart cells and vessel-forming endothelial cells.

Dr. Eduardo Marban, senior study author and chief of cardiology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, cautions no overall improvements in heart function have yet been shown.

"But we have proof of principle," he said, "and we are planning to use larger numbers of cells implanted in different sites of the heart to test whether we can restore function as well. If the answer is yes, we could see the first phase of studies in people in late 2007."

The findings were presented Monday, during the American Heart Association's annual Scientific Sessions in Chicago.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers identify unexpected functions in the determination of height for a gene expressed in sperm

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Hacking the nervous system

5 hours ago

When Maria Vrind, a former gymnast from Volendam in the Netherlands, found that the only way she could put her socks on in the morning was to lie on her back with her feet in the air, she had to accept that ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.