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The best of both worlds: boosting the potential of CASCs with DPSCs for true cardiac repair. (R-10244)

Myocardial infarction (MI) is the leading cause of heart failure worldwide. Recent advanced therapies reduce the risk of recurrent infarctions and improve patient survival but are not able to replace the lost cardiac tissue, thereby not avoiding progression towards heart failure. Recently, we identified a new cardiac stem cell type (CASC) able to improve cardiac function after MI, with high differentiation capacity towards cardiomyocytes. Nevertheless, the application potential of CASCs is limited by the low cell engraftment due the low potential of CASCs to induce blood vessel formation (i.e. angiogenesis). On the other hand, dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs), which are highly angiogenic but lack cardiomyogenic properties, are able to improve but not fully restore cardiac function after MI. In this project, I hypothesize that DPSCs are able to enhance CASCs angiogenic properties in vitro and in vivo. First, I will investigate whether co-culturing with DPSCs improves CASCs properties in vitro by examining the effect on proliferation, differentiation, migration and angiogenesis. I will also identify the key proteins secreted by DPSCs to boost CASCs. Finally, I will determine whether this co-culturing approach results in an enhanced ability of CASCs to repair lost cardiac tissue in a rat model of MI. As such, I believe that my findings will be a step forward to true replacement of lost cardiac tissue and will be a new hope to help heart failure patients in the long term.
Date:1 Nov 2019 →  8 Jun 2021
Disciplines:Cardiology, Cell therapy