The aim of cardiac cell therapy is to restore at least in part the functionality of the diseased or injured myocardium by the use of stem/progenitor cells. Recent clinical trials have shown the safety of cardiac cell therapy and encouraging efficacy results. A surprisingly wide range of non-myogenic cell types improves ventricular function, suggesting that benefits may result in part from mechanisms that are distinct from true myocardial regeneration. While clinical trials explore cells derived from skeletal muscle and bone marrow, basic researchers are investigating sources of new cardiomyogenic cells, such as resident myocardial progenitors and embryonic stem cells. In this commentary we briefly review the evolution of cell-based cardiac repair, some progress that has been made toward this goal, and future perspectives in the regeneration of cardiac tissue.
Keywords: Cardiac cell therapy, heart failure, stem cells, cardiac regeneration, cardiac stem cells
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