Three Distinct Cardiac Stem Cell Populations Isolated from a Single Human Heart Biopsy Interview with:

Megan M. Monsanto, B.S. Joint Doctoral Student Department of Cell and Molecular Biology San Diego State University & University of California San Diego

Megan Monsanto

Megan M. Monsanto, B.S.
Joint Doctoral Student
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology
San Diego State University &
University of California San Diego What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In the field of cardiovascular research there is ongoing debate regarding the optimal cell population(s) to use for the treatment of patients with heart failure. A major reason being, the lack of understanding of the actions and synergism between distinct myocardial-derived stem cell populations. This prompted our group to establish a protocol to isolate multiple stem cell populations from a single human myocardial tissue sample that will allow for the discovery of new insights at the cellular level, with the ultimate goal being to achieve true myocardial regeneration upon injection back into the patient. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Three distinct cardiac cell populations can concurrently be isolated and expanded from a single tissue sample derived from human heart failure patients that vary in both age and gender. In the Sussman lab, we believe that each individual cell type is specialized to perform specific tasks, and combinations of cell types likely exert actions through concerted cooperative networking that any single cell type alone cannot perform. With this being said, all science begins with a single step, and this protocol paves the way by isolating multiple cardiac cell populations that can be studied individually or combinatorial so that the field of cardiac stem cell therapy can come to a better understanding on which stem cell population(s) hold the most promise for cardiac regeneration. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Cardiac stem cell populations play inherently distinct roles in cardiovascular regeneration. Insight into what makes each cell type unique will translate to superior clinical application, and this will depend upon understanding the disease state of each individual patient. For example, when a patient has chronic ischemia their primary need is salvation of cardiomyocytes and improvement in blood flow. In this situation, the appropriate cell type would be that which induces vascular regeneration, such as an endothelial progenitor cell or EPC.

On the other hand, if the goal were to replace lost cardiomyocytes, perhaps cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) supported by mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) would favor activation of endogenous cardiomyocytes as well as allow for CPCs’ inherent cardiomyogenic potential. Alternatively, co-injection of all three cardiac stem cell types may provide the most robust outcome. Achieving long-lasting myocardial benefits likely requires the interaction of multiple cardiac cell types and testing this hypothesis is the focus of ongoing experimental studies in our laboratory, and I believe this to be important future research for the field in general. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Megan would like to thank all those who helped foster her love of science and discovery, which ultimately made this publication possible! Thank you for your contribution to the community.

Concurrent Isolation of Three Distinct Cardiac Stem Cell Populations from a Single Human Heart Biopsy
Megan M Monsanto, Kevin S White, Taeyong Kim, Bingyan J Wang, Kristina Fisher, Kelli Ilves, Farid G Khalafalla, Alexandria Casillas, Kathleen Broughton, Sadia Mohsin, Walter P Dembitsky, Mark A Sussman
Circulation Research. 2017;CIRCRESAHA.116.310494
Originally published April 26, 2017

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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