New Stem Cells (CDx2) Discovered That Can Regenerate A Heart After A Myocardial Infarction Event
When a person experiences a heart attack (Myocardial Infarction), in most cases, heart muscles and other cells are damaged during the process as a result of blood stoppage to certain of these muscles and tissues during the event. Blood vessels in the heart are also damaged. These damaged muscle tissues can sometimes turn to become scar tissues. Damaged muscle tissue and damaged vessels in the heart can lead to a whole lists of complications including arrhythmias, heart failure and in most cases death. More than 23 million patients worldwide are suffering from post heart attack complications.
Medical Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered a new way to help the heart regenerate tissues and itself after a heart attack event by the usage new type of isolated stem cells from placenta. Known as CDx2 Cells
, these stem cells have demonstrated the ability to regenerate healthy heart cells and tissues after heart attack in animal models.
These CDX Cells exhibit properties like a ‘smart and expeditious healing group’ of stem cells, in that they can target the site of an injury and travel directly to the injury through the circulatory system and are able to avoid rejection by the host immune system.
Prior research by the same team found in animal modes that these stem cells went naturally from the placenta to the mother's heart when it was damaged. These turned into beating muscle cells called cardiomyocytes
, the initial stages of heart repair process.
Hina Chaudhry, MD, Director of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in an exclusive phone interview with Thailand Medical News said, “the Cdx2 cells that were isolated form the placenta stem cells normally comprise roughly about 40% of the type of stem cells found in the overall stem cell population. These unique stem cells have the capability to regenerate into any kind of organ tissues that are damaged in the body at a very rapid rate and travel through the blood circulatory system searching out damaged cells, tissues and organs.”
To test the Cdx2 cells' regenerative properties, the researchers induced heart attacks in three groups of animal models. One group received Cdx2 stem cell treatments derived from end-gestation placentas, one group received placenta cells that did not contain Cdx2, and the third group received a saline control.
Magnetic resonance imaging was used to analyze all test groups immediately after the heart attacks, and three months after induction with cells or saline. They found that every test model specimen in the group with Cdx2 stem cell treatments had significant improvement and regeneration of healthy tissue in the heart. By three months, the stem cells had migrated directly to the heart injury and formed new blood vessels and new cardiomyocytes (beating heart muscle cells). The rest of the tests groups did not exhibit any heart tissue regeneration and simply died.
Two interesting properties of the Cdx2 cells is that they have all the proteins of embryonic stem cells, which are known to generate all organs of the body, but also additional proteins, giving them the ability to travel directly to the injury site, which is something embryonic stem cells cannot do, and they appear to avoid the host immune response.
The discovery of these CDx2 Stem cells paves the way for various stem cell applications and for the usage in organ regeneration for various diseases.
Reference: Sangeetha Vadakke-Madathil el al., "Multipotent fetal-derived Cdx2 cells from placenta regenerate the heart," PNAS (2019). www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1811827116