Use of Embryonic Stem Cells to Treat Heart Disease

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter covers the use of cell transplantation as a paradigm for the treatment of diseased hearts, followed by a discussion of ES-derived cardiomyocytes and factors that enhance cardiomyogenic differentiation. Transplantation of ES-derived cardiomyocytes in preclinical studies and challenges for their clinical implementation are then considered. It is now well established that cardiomyocytes can be stably transplanted into normal or injured adult hearts. Transplanted donor cells can form a functional syncytium with the host myocardium. It is also well-established that embryonic stem (ES) cells can differentiate into functional cardiomyocytes in vitro, and that these ES-derived cardiomyocytes form stable grafts when transplanted into the myocardium. ES cells might thus represent a suitable source of donor cardiomyocytes for cell transplantation therapies aimed at restoring lost myocardial mass in diseased hearts. Additional research is required to determine if it is possible to seed sufficient numbers of donor cells to directly impact cardiac function, and also to develop viable strategies to prevent donor cell rejection. If these latter hurdles are overcome, cellular transplantation with ES-derived cardiomyocytes will emerge as a promising intervention for the treatment of heart disease. © 2009

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEssentials of Stem Cell Biology
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780123747297
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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