It is estimated that a typical myocardial infarction results in the loss of approximately one
billion functional cardiomyocytes, which are replaced by a non-contractile fibrous scar, eventually
leading to heart failure. The currently available surgical, drug, and device-based therapies cannot
reverse the loss of functional myocardium, which is the fundamental cause of the problem. As a result
of this lack of an available medical solution, heart failure has evolved into a global epidemic.
Therefore, the development of regenerative therapeutic strategies to halt the progression of ischemic
heart disease to advanced heart failure has become one of the most urgent medical needs of this century. This review first
addresses the extremely limited endogenous regenerative capacity of the mammalian heart, and the benefits and
limitations of stem cell-based therapies for cardiac repair. Then it discusses the known roles of microRNAs after cardiac
injury and the possibility of employing microRNAs to enhance cardiac regeneration.
Keywords: Cardiac progenitor cells, cardiomyocytes, cardiovascular disease, heart failure, microRNA, regeneration, stem
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