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  • Resveratrol therapy protects injected stem cells in heart tissue

    August 19, 2010: by Bill Sardi

    Stem cell therapy in cases of heart failure or post-heart attack has been disappointing.  Heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) regenerate or are replaced very slowly, so stem cell therapy has been attempted.  The hope therapy has been that these stem cells will differentiate into cardiac muscle cells, preventing heart failure.  Here, in this ground-breaking study, researchers fed laboratory animals the red wine molecule resveratrol (rez=vair-ah-trawl) two weeks prior to an intentionally-induced heart attack.  Then stem cells were injected into the heart, with increased survival of these cells noted and increased pumping action of the heart measured.  There was greater survival of resveratrol-treated animals.  Read the abstract below.  – Bill Sardi for

    J Cell Mol Med. 2010 Aug 16. [Epub ahead of print]

    Red wine antioxidant resveratrol-modified cardiac stem cells regenerate infarcted myocardium.

    Gurusamy N, Ray D, Lekli I, Das DK.

    Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, Connecticut, USA.


    Abstract. To study the efficiency of maintaining the reduced tissue environment via pretreatment with natural antioxidant resveratrol in stem cell therapy, we pretreated male Sprague Dawley rats with resveratrol (2.5 mg/kg/day gavaged for 2 weeks). After occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD), adult cardiac stem cells stably expressing EGFP were injected into the border zone of the myocardium. One week after the LAD occlusion, the cardiac reduced environment was confirmed in resveratrol treated rat hearts by the enhanced expression of nuclear factor-E2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) and redox effector factor-1 (Ref-1). In concert, cardiac functional parameters (left ventricular ejection fraction and fractional shortening) were significantly improved. The improvement of cardiac function was accompanied by the enhanced stem cell survival and proliferation as evidenced by the expression of cell proliferation marker Ki67 and differentiation of stem cells towards the regeneration of the myocardium as evidenced by the expression of EGFP twenty-eight days after LAD occlusion in the resveratrol treated hearts. Our results demonstrate that resveratrol maintained a reduced tissue environment by overexpressing Nrf2 and Ref-1 in rats resulting in an enhancement of the cardiac regeneration of the adult cardiac stem cells as evidenced by increased cell survival and differentiation leading to cardiac function.

    PMID: 20716127

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