Colonizing the heart from the epicardial side
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
Stem Cell Research & Therapy 2012, 3:15 doi:10.1186/scrt106Published: 30 April 2012
The clinical use of stem cells, such as bone marrow-derived and, more recently, resident cardiac stem cells, offers great promise for treatment of myocardial infarction and heart failure. The epicardium-derived cells have also attracted attention for their angiogenic paracrine actions and ability to differentiate into cardiomyocytes and vascular cells when activated during cardiac injury. In a recent study, Chong and colleagues have described a distinct population of epicardium-derived mesenchymal stem cells that reside in a perivascular niche of the heart and have a broad multilineage potential. Exploring the therapeutic capacity of these cells will be an exciting future endeavor.