Heart diseases has become the number one killer in western countries. Cardiosphere derived stem cell are already a promising therapeutic treatment for cardiomyopathy. At the same time current treatments for human ischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy is still done with drug regimen or invasive implantable devices. While studies on rodents show initial proof of concept. Translating cardiosphere derived stem cell therapy to humans is still not done.
Cardiosphere derived stem cell used in animal model
To change this mind set researchers are using large animal studies, to proof safety of stem cells therapy for human ischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy. Interestingly, in the wild animal kingdom naturally occurring cardiomyopathy of humans cannot be found and studied in the laboratory. However, naturally occurring cardiomyopathy does affect the well-being of domestic dogs. For a Doberman pinschers, ischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy also appears to be a major cause of death.
Researchers decide to use the Doberman pinschers with ischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy as a large animal model of cardiomyopathy. To translate safety of human adult stem cell therapy for heart diseases.
Researchers infused dog stem cells into the coronary vessels of Doberman pinscher ischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy. Adverse events were checked, and cardiac functions were measured. Researchers reported that no adverse events occurred during and after cell infusion. After natural deaths the dog hearts showed no sign of immune rejection from the transplanted stem cells.
An other stem cell with promising prospects.
Even though cardiosphere derived stem cells are a promising treatment option, according to most researchers Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have the greatest potential for use in human heart diseases. Mesenchymal stem cells are easily harvetesed from the umbilical cord or from bone marrow (less easy). The therapeutic potential of Mesenchymal stem cells in heart diseases is based on the ability of Mesenchymal stem cells to differentiate into cardiac tissue. But, one of the major problems for clinical application is the harsh environment resulting in high cell death of the transplanted mesenchymal stem cells. Researcher are therefore looking for solutions like modifing mesenchymal stem cells for cardiac regeneration.