This review surveys a wide range of cellular and molecular approaches to strengthening the injured or weakened heart, focusing on strategies to replace dysfunctional, necrotic, or apoptotic cardiomyocytes with new cells of mesodermal origin. A variety of cell types, including myogenic cell lines, adult skeletal myoblasts, immortalized atrial cells, embryonic and adult cardiomyocytes, embryonic stem cells, teratoma cells, genetically altered fibroblasts, smooth muscle cells, and bone marrow–derived cells have all been proposed as useful cells in cardiac repair and may have the capacity to perform cardiac work. We focus on the implantation of mesodermally derived cells, the best developed of the options. We review the developmental and cell biology that have stimulated these studies, examine the limitations of current knowledge, and identify challenges for the future, which we believe are considerable.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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