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Stem cells from human fat tissue used for 'biologial' pacemaker.

Stem cells from a type of human fat tissue may one day be able to reverse the electrical problems in the heart that pacemakers now correct, according to Japanese scientists.

Researchers grew "beating" cells with properties similar to the heart's conductive tissue from stem cells taken from the brown fat tissue of mice. They then injected them into rodents with reduced heart rates caused by electrical signaling problems known as atrioventricular (AV) block, according to HealthDay News.

After a week, the AV block was completely reversed or partially reversed in half the test mice, the scientists reported, adding that no change was observed in the control mice.

"Electronic pacemakers are often used as palliative therapy for people who have conduction problems with the electrical signals that govern the heart beat. However, that therapy has several shortcomings, including possible malfunction and the need for repeated replacement of the devices's power packs and eletrodes," the study's lead author Dr. Toshiniao Takahashi, a research fellow at Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine in Chiba, Japan, said in an American Heart Association news release. "Cell therapy could overcome those problems and provide a possible cure for conductive disease. Our goal is to create a biological pacemaker."
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Publication:Transplant News
Date:Aug 1, 2009
Previous Article:Johns Hopkins researchers report successfully creating stem cells from developing sperm from fruit fly.
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