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Human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hESC-CMs) to treat ischemia/reperfusion injury

Nonhuman primate studies suggest hESC-CM transplantation could be used to treat ischemia/reperfusion injury. In a nonhuman primate model of ischemia/reperfusion injury, delivery of one billion hESC-CMs to the infarct site resulted in their engraftment in the host animal heart and subsequent maturation and perfusion by blood vessels over a period of three months. In animals that received the transplant, the grafts showed electromechanical coupling with the heart, but ventricular arrhythmias were observed for the first two weeks after the transplant. Next steps could include conducting studies using larger numbers of animals to determine the mechanisms leading to the arrhythmias and doing a more detailed assessment of cardiac function.

SciBX 7(21); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.628
Published online May 29, 2014

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Chong, J.J.H. et al. Nature; published online April 30, 2014;
Contact: Charles E. Murry, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.