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Guolong Yu, Cesar V. Borlongan, Christine E. Stahl, Seong Jin Yu, Eunkyung Bae, Tianlun Yang, Jiyang Zhou, Yuan Li, Wei Xiong, Liqion Qin, Bo Zhou
Med Sci Monit 2008; 14(10): RA163-172
Cell therapy for myocardial disease is a rapidly evolving medical field. A vast and growing body of evidence indicates that cell-based strategies have promising therapeutic potential. Recent clinical and pre-clinical studies demonstrate a varying degree of improvement in cardiac function using different sources of adult stem cell types such as bone marrow-derived progenitor cells and skeletal myoblasts. However, the currently available regimens for cell transplantation into the infarcted myocardium have limitations from practical points of view, in particular the logistics in harvesting donor cells. Accordingly, there is an urgent need for a new source of adult stem cells. Human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) is a good candidate and appears to have several key advantages. HUCB is a viable and practical source of progenitor cells. Compared to bone marrow, HUCB contains a higher number of immature stem/progenitor cells. The aim of our review is to provide an update on the preclinical experiments with emphasis on the possible mechanisms underlying the therapeutic benefits of HUCB cell transplantation for myocardial infarction.