Researchers have made a major advance in efforts to regenerate damaged hearts. Grafts of human cardiac muscle cells, grown from embryonic stem cells, coupled electrically and contracted synchronously with host muscle following transplantation in guinea pig hearts.
The grafts also reduced the incidence of arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms) in a guinea pig model of myocardial infarction (commonly known as a heart attack).
This finding from University of Washington-led research is reported in the Aug. 5 issue of Nature. The paper’s senior author, Dr. Michael Laflamme, said, “These results provide strong evidence that human cardiac muscle cell grafts meet physiological criteria for true heart regeneration. This supports the continued development of human embryonic stem cell-based heart therapies for both mechanical and electrical repair of the heart.” Via Heart muscle cell grafts suppress arrhythmias after heart attacks in animal study.