‘Leftover’ veins from heart surgery yield stem cells

(Stem Cells News image)

University of Bristol
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A University of Bristol team extracted stem cells from the veins, then used them to stimulate new blood vessel growth in mice, Circulation reports.

The researchers say their findings could bring treatments to repair damaged heart muscle one step closer.

However, a stem cell expert warned that they remained some years away.

Stem cells are attractive to medical researchers because they have the ability to produce many different types of human cell, opening up the possibility of repair or renewal for tissues ravaged by disease or injury (…)

When the stem cells were injected into the leg muscle of a mouse which had been deprived of blood to simulate conditions in a damaged heart, the cells appeared to trigger the development of new blood vessels and improve blood flow.

Professor Paolo Madeddu, who led the research, said: “This is the first time that anyone has been able to extract stem cells from sections of vein left over from heart bypass operations.

“These cells might make it possible for a person having a bypass to also receive a heart treatment using their body’s own stem cells.”

from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8639548.stm