Stem cell therapy utilizing mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has become a very successful treatment for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). MSCs have been shown to have immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and pro-angiogenic properties, making them an ideal candidate for regenerative medicine. Umbilical cord-derived MSCs (UC-MSCs) have been increasingly popular due to their advantages over other sources of MSCs, such as bone marrow-derived MSCs, adipose-derived MSCs, and dental pulp-derived MSCs.
Umbilical cord derived mesenchymal stem cells have several advantages over other sources of MSCs. UC-MSCs are abundant, easy to obtain, and virtually no risk of contamination and infection as compared to other sources of MSCs. Additionally, UC-MSCs have a higher proliferation rate and a longer lifespan than bone marrow-derived MSCs. Moreover, UC-MSCs are more likely to retain their stemness and differentiation potential after multiple passages in culture, which is important for their therapeutic applications.
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. Despite advances in treatment, CVDs remain a significant health burden. Heart disease is caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors. The current treatments for CVDs are limited, and many patients do not respond well to traditional therapies. Therefore, there is a need for new therapeutic options for CVDs.
What does stem cell therapy do for cardiovascular disease?
UC-MSCs have been shown to be effective in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. In studies, this stem cell therapy treatment has been shown to improve cardiac function and reduce myocardial infarct size in patients with CVDs. These stem cells have also been shown to promote angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) and reduce inflammation in the heart. Additionally, UC-MSCs have been shown to have a paracrine effect, which means they secrete factors that promote tissue repair and regeneration.
It is widely known that UC-MSCs improve cardiac function by several mechanisms. First, UC-MSCs promote angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is essential for tissue repair and regeneration. UC-MSCs secrete factors that promote angiogenesis, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), and angiopoietin-1. These factors stimulate the growth and migration of endothelial cells, which are the cells that line blood vessels.
Second, the stem cells that we use in treatment reduce inflammation in the heart. Inflammation plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of CVDs. UC-MSCs secrete factors that reduce inflammation, such as interleukin-10 (IL-10) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β). These factors suppress the activity of immune cells that promote inflammation, such as macrophages and T cells.
Third, UC-MSCs have anti-apoptotic effects. Apoptosis is programmed cell death that occurs in response to cellular stress, such as hypoxia (oxygen deficiency in the tissue). Apoptosis plays a role in the development of cardiovascular disease. UC-MSCs secrete factors that inhibit apoptosis, such as insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF).
UC-MSCs have immunomodulatory effects. UC-MSCs have been shown to suppress the activity of immune cells, such as T cells and natural killer (NK) cells.
Why does your body need young stem cells?
When we are born we have a significant amount of stem cells, about 1 in every 10,000 cells in our body is a stem cell. These cells help our bodies grow, fight disease and heal from injury.
Every time we have a fall, scrape, bump, accident, injury, sickness, etc. we use some of the cells. When we reach age 50 we have around 1 stem cell for every 400,000 cells in our bodies and the count continues to decrease as we age. As the stem cell count decreases, our ability to heal, fight off disease, etc. decreases as well.
The young umbilical cord derived stem cells that we use in our treatments are donated after a healthy birth, both mother and child are well. These cells are capable of making 1 billion cells each over a 30-day period. When we consider that our treatments typically consist of between 150 million and 250 million of these very young stem cells, your body experiences a tremendous boost in both its healing and anti-aging ability.