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Regulation of mesenchymal stem cells by vasculature and enhancement of their regenerative potential for the treatment of acute myocardial infarction

Final Report Summary - MESENDOT (Regulation of mesenchymal stem cells by vasculature and enhancement of their regenerative potential for the treatment of acute myocardial infarction)

Heart failure remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. As the adult myocardium has insufficient regenerative capacity cardiac myocyte loss as a result of injury or disease is essentially irreversible. Therefore, individuals who suffer large acute myocardial infarction often progress to congestive heart failure. Despite significant advances in medical management, the prognosis of end-stage congestive heart failure remains very poor and the identification of mechanisms and potential therapeutic approaches for the treatment of myocardial infarction remains of considerable importance.

Understanding the MSC niche will provide a framework for the elucidation of stem cell function and regulation and for their successful use in regenerative medicine. In this project, we will analyse communication of MSCs with their microenvironment in a bidirectional way, considering not only the cues that MSCs receive from the endothelium but also the effect of the stem cells on angiogenesis and endothelial differentiation and function. The project aims to study the MSC vascular niche as a dynamic and interactive unit and to determine the molecular mechanisms that regulate its homeostasis and function. The knowledge acquired with this project will give us the opportunity to develop adult stem cell-based techniques for myocardial regeneration.