Transplantation of CD34+ cells for myocardial ischemia
CD34+ cells are multipotent hematopoietic stem cells also known as endothelial progenitor cells and are useful in regenerative medicine. Naturally, these cells are mobilized from the bone marrow into peripheral circulation in response to ischemic tissue injury. CD34+ cells are known for their high proliferative and differentiation capacities that play a crucial role in the repair process of myocardial damage. They have an important paracrine activity in secreting factors to stimulate vasculogenesis, reduce endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes apoptosis, remodel extracellular matrix and activate additional progenitor cells. Once they migrate to the target site, they enhance angiogenesis, neovascularization and tissue regeneration. Several trials have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of CD34+ cell therapy in different settings, such as peripheral limb ischemia, stroke and cardiovascular disease. Herein, we review the potential utility of CD34+ cell transplantation in acute myocardial infarction, refractory angina and ischemic heart failure.