Improving heart muscle

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Science  30 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6456, pp. 879-880
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6456.879-g

Heart failure is caused by injury to the myocardium, the heart muscle, which results in irreversible loss because this tissue cannot regenerate itself. Bargehr et al. investigated whether regenerative medicine approaches involving human embryonic stem cell (hESC)–derived epicardial cells, which produce stromal cells, smooth muscle cells, and growth factors, can remuscularize injured heart. They showed that hESC-derived epicardial cells improved the structure and function of heart tissue in vitro and improved hESC-derived cardiomyocyte grafts in rats with heart tissue loss. The improvements to heart function in vivo persisted for 3 months, suggesting an approach for improving heart regenerative medicine.

Nat. Biotech. 37, 895 (2019).

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