Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of deaths worldwide, claiming an estimated total of 17.9 million lives each year, of which one-third of the people are under the age of 70 years. Since adult cardiomyocytes fail to regenerate, the heart loses the ability to repair itself after an injury, making patients with heart disease suffer from poor prognosis. Pluripotent stem cells have the ability to differentiate into cardiomyocytes in vitro through a well-established process, which is a new advancement in cardiac regeneration therapy. However, pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes have certain drawbacks, such as the risk of arrhythmia and immune incompatibility. Thus, amniotic fluid stem cells (AFSCs), a relatively novel source of stem cells, have been exploited for their ability of pluripotent differentiation. In addition, since AFSCs are weakly positive for the major histocompatibility class II molecules, they may have high immune tolerance. In summary, the possibility of development of cardiomyocytes from AFSCs, as well as their transplantation in host cells to produce mechanical contraction, has been discussed. Thus, this review article highlights the progress of AFSC therapy and its application in the treatment of heart diseases in recent years.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry