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Stem Cells Working on Matters of the Heart

Apr 9, 2019 10:06:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cardiovascular Disease, heart disease, Stem Cells

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After suffering from a heart attack, patients may eventually have a treatment option which uses their own stem cells to repair and restore heart muscle tissue.

According to the Centers for Disease control, over 600,000 people in the U.S. die yearly from heart disease, and 735,000 Americans have a heart attack each year. Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is blocked leading to damage to the heart muscle tissue.  The heart tries to heal after an infarction, but this involves the formation of scar tissue that does not restore adequate function to the heart. The advancement of regenerative medicine using adult stem cells for cardiac tissue repair has the potential to provide a means to repair heart tissue in a way that returns full heart muscle cell function.

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Stem Cell Method Sheds Light on Heart Disease

Jul 2, 2018 9:59:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in heart disease, Stem Cells

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Studying the biological processes that lead to the development of heart disease is essential in the study of preventive and therapeutic approaches to combat the illness.

One in every four deaths in the US is due to heart disease, and the most common type is coronary heart disease caused by arteriosclerosis, a hardening and thickening of the arteries. Studying the biological processes that lead to the development of arterial disease is essential in the study of preventive and therapeutic approaches to combat cardiovascular disease. In vitro methods important for studying disease mechanisms are challenging because explanted endothelial cells can lose their distinctive characteristics.

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Dendritic and Endothelial Cell Relationships: Role in Heart Disease

Feb 13, 2017 9:16:02 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Dendritic Cells, heart disease

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As Valentine's Day approaches, we think of the central and most important symbol of the season, the heart. Affairs of the heart are not only the center of Valentine's Day activities, but the center of continuing biomedical research to determine the causes and therapies for cardiovascular diseases. Dendritic cells, important antigen-presenting cells of the immune system, have a role in cardiovascular disease. Just as we think of our friendships and other close relationships during this season, dendritic cells also have a close relationship to and interact with endothelial cells to maintain immune function. However, in atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), dendritic cells deposit in the arterial plaques (cholesterol-containing buildups) and contribute to the development of this disease. They are also activated in response to ischemic (lack of blood and oxygen) injury of the heart, liver, and kidneys.

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