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Abstract: Stem cell-based therapies hold promise for regenerating the myocardium after injury. Recent data obtained from phase I clinical trials using endogenous cardiovascular progenitors isolated directly from the heart suggest that cell-based treatment for heart patients using stem cells that reside in the heart provides significant functional benefit and an improvement in patient outcome. Methods to achieve improved engraftment and regeneration may extend this therapeutic benefit. Endogenous cardiovascular progenitors have been tested extensively in small animals to identify cells that improve cardiac function after myocardial infarction. However, the relative lack of large animal models impedes translation into clinical practice. This review will exclusively focus on the latest research pertaining to humans and large animals, including both endogenous and induced sources of cardiovascular progenitors.
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