Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Derived Extracellular Vesicles
A Potential Therapy for Cardiac Repair
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“The science of today is the technology of tomorrow”
Cardiovascular disease remains one of the major health issues in the United States. Existing therapies prolong the life of patients but do not actually regenerate the lost cardiac muscle tissue. In this perspective, evidence from animal models of experimental ischemic injuries suggests that exogenous transfer of a variety of stem/progenitor cells orchestrate functional improvement and ischemic tissue repair/regeneration after cardiac injury.1 One of the primary features of stem cells relates to their ability to differentiate into different types of cells and tissues. This potential to regenerate tissues was the primary rationale behind the early studies of stem cell therapy in animal models and subsequently in humans. However, with the rapid increase in studies that show very little or no replacement of lost cells through transdifferentiation of stem cells, the support for the paracrine effects theory has grown. It is now generally believed that adult stem cells induce organ repair primarily via mechanisms other than differentiating into another cell type, such as a cardiomyocyte.
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Pluripotent embryonic stem cells have shown a great promise in cardiac regeneration because of their unparalleled cardiomyocyte differentiation potential.2 However, major obstacles using embryonic stem cells transplantation include immune rejection, arrhythmogenesis, and tumorigenic potential.3 The promise of true regeneration of damaged or lost tissues was greatly enhanced in 2006 with the discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by Takahashi and Yamanaka4 who showed the traits of a truly pluripotent cell and revolutionized the field of regenerative medicine because somatic cells can now be reprogrammed to pluripotent stem cells, thus circumventing the immune rejection and ethical issues associated with embryonic stem cells.5 The …