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J. Dev. Biol. 2014, 2(2), 117-137; doi:10.3390/jdb2020117
Review

Epicardial Origin of Resident Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the Adult Mammalian Heart

1,2,3
, 1,3,4
 and 1,2,4,5,*
Received: 13 January 2014; in revised form: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 23 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epicardial Development and Cardiovascular Disease)
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Abstract: The discovery of stem and progenitor cells in the adult mammalian heart has added a vital dimension to the field of cardiac regeneration. Cardiac-resident stem cells are likely sequestered as reserve cells within myocardial niches during the course of embryonic cardiogenesis, although they may also be recruited from external sources, such as bone marrow. As we begin to understand the nature of cardiac-resident stem and progenitor cells using a variety of approaches, it is evident that they possess an identity embedded within their gene regulatory networks that favours cardiovascular lineage potential. In addition to contributing lineage descendants, cardiac stem cells may also be stress sensors, offering trophic cues to other cell types, including cardiomyocytes and vasculature cells, and likely other stem cells and immune cells, during adaptation and repair. This presents numerous possibilities for endogenous cardiac stem and progenitor cells to be used in cell therapies or as targets in heart rejuvenation. In this review, we focus on the epicardium as an endogenous source of multi-potential mesenchymal progenitor cells in development and as a latent source of such progenitors in the adult. We track the origin and plasticity of the epicardium in embryos and adults in both homeostasis and disease. In this context, we ask whether directed activation of epicardium-derived progenitor cells might have therapeutic application.
Keywords: proepicardial organ; epicardium; mesenchymal stem cells; cardiac stem cells; cardiac fibroblast; CFU-F proepicardial organ; epicardium; mesenchymal stem cells; cardiac stem cells; cardiac fibroblast; CFU-F
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Asli, N.S.; Xaymardan, M.; Harvey, R.P. Epicardial Origin of Resident Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the Adult Mammalian Heart. J. Dev. Biol. 2014, 2, 117-137.

AMA Style

Asli NS, Xaymardan M, Harvey RP. Epicardial Origin of Resident Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the Adult Mammalian Heart. Journal of Developmental Biology. 2014; 2(2):117-137.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Asli, Naisana S.; Xaymardan, Munira; Harvey, Richard P. 2014. "Epicardial Origin of Resident Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the Adult Mammalian Heart." J. Dev. Biol. 2, no. 2: 117-137.

J. Dev. Biol. EISSN 2221-3759 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert