For their study, Terzic and colleagues analyzed the hearts of mice that received cardiopoietic stem cell therapy as well as those that did not. They used an algorithmic approach to map the proteins in the heart muscle, identifying 4,000 proteins. Ten percent of these were damaged during a heart attack.
The investigators found that the therapy either fully or partially reversed two-thirds of the changes caused by the event. And about 85% of “cellular functional categories” impacted by infarction responded positively to treatment, the authors wrote. They also noted that new blood vessels and heart tissue began to grow as a result of the intervention.
In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds, according to the study, which kills this precious cardiac tissue and leads to a significantly weaker heart. Although cardiopoietic stem cells are still being investigated in advanced clinical trials in human patients, this most recent study is a big step in the right direction.
“The current findings will enrich the base of knowledge pertinent to stem cell therapies and may have the potential to guide therapeutic regimens in the future,” Terzic concluded.