The role of cardiac side population cells in cardiac regeneration

Amritha Yellamilli, Jop H. van Berlo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The heart has a limited ability to regenerate. It is important to identify therapeutic strategies that enhance cardiac regeneration in order to replace cardiomyocytes lost during the progression of heart failure. Cardiac progenitor cells are interesting targets for new regenerative therapies because they are self-renewing, multipotent cells located in the heart. Cardiac side population cells (cSPCs), the first cardiac progenitor cells identified in the adult heart, have the ability to differentiate into cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, and fibroblasts. They become activated in response to cardiac injury and transplantation of cSPCs into the injured heart improves cardiac function. In this review, we will discuss the current literature on the progenitor cell properties and therapeutic potential of cSPCs. This body of work demonstrates the great promise cSPCs hold as targets for new regenerative strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Issue numberSEP
StatePublished - Sep 13 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Yellamilli and van Berlo.


  • Abcg2
  • Cardiac regeneration
  • Heart failure
  • Side population
  • Stem cells

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