Progressive heart failure and death can occur following myocardial infarction due to ventricular remodelling and fibrosis. Neoangiogenesis occurs normally within the infarcted tissue, but the new capillary network is unable to support the greater demands of the hypertrophied myocardium and remaining myocytes are unable to reconstitute the necrotic tissue.

In the April Nature Medicine, Kocher and colleagues Columbia University, New York show that bone marrow from adult humans can be used to help neoangiogenesis and directly induce new blood vessel formation in the infarct area.

They used selected bone marrow cells from human donors and athymic rat recipients with ligation-induced coronary thrombosis as an experimental model of infarction. Kocher et al showed a significant increase in revascularization of post-infarction myocardial tissue after the intravenous administration of CD34+ human stem cells. The neoangiogenesis resulted in decreased apoptosis of hypertrophied myocytes in the peri-infarct region, long-term salvage and survival...

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