• By Susan Buckles

Science Saturday: Demystifying healing potential of stem cells

July 17, 2021
medical illustration of human stem cells

Mayo Clinic research has discovered proteins secreted by human stem cells that act as a "magic potion" to drive healing after a heart attack. The research uncovered that these cell-released regenerative particles harbor a pattern of functions mirrored in repair of the diseased heart, linking stem cell-transmitted information to the beneficial response of the recipient heart.

This proof-of-concept study on how cardiopoietic cells function is published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

"The study results indicate that the protein set that the cells export, known as their secretome, is responsible for providing restorative benefits," says Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., director of Mayo Clinic's Center for Regenerative Medicine and senior author on the study. "Mapping the secretome may streamline the process of manufacturing regenerative therapeutics, rendering easier scalability and standardization, ultimately ensuring broader accessibility for patients."

Hearts damaged by a heart attack have limited means for self-repair, often leading to failure with poor prognosis. Cardiopoietic cells, which are in phase III clinical trials, are a regenerative technology developed at Mayo Clinic showing signs of therapeutic benefit for heart failure patients. This latest research contributes to the understanding of how cardiopoietic stem cell therapy works.

"The discovery that the cardiopoietic cell secretome harbors restorative properties may be exploited to assess reparative potential prior to patient delivery. This approach could be extended to evaluate other cell types and their respective therapeutic capacity," says D. Kent Arrell, Ph.D., first author on the study. "Bringing this new knowledge to the patient and broader clinical care is an ongoing endeavor."

Read the rest of the article on the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine blog.

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