July 25, 2012

Aging heart cells rejuvenated by modified stem cells

American Heart Association Meeting Report: BCVS-12 Abstract 62

Study Highlights:

*  Elderly heart failure patients’ heart cells were rejuvenated with modified stem cells.
*  The rejuvenated cells could one day be used to repair damaged heart muscles.

(July 23, 2012)  Damaged and aged heart tissue of older heart failure patients was rejuvenated by stem cells modified by scientists, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2012 Scientific Sessions.

The study is simultaneously published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The research could one day lead to new treatments for heart failure patients, researchers said.

“Since patients with heart failure are normally elderly, their cardiac stem cells aren’t very healthy,” said Sadia Mohsin, Ph.D., one of the study authors and a post-doctoral research scholar at San Diego State University’s Heart Institute in San Diego, Cal. “We modified these biopsied stem cells and made them healthier. It is like turning back the clock so these cells can thrive again.”

Modified human stem cells helped the signaling and structure of the heart cells, which were biopsied from elderly patients. Researchers modified the stem cells in the laboratory with PIM-1, a protein that promotes cell survival and growth.

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