Coronary artery disease is a leading cause of mortality in the USA, and cannot be cured. Although Stem Cell therapy has been initiated in several cases of cardiovascular dysfunction, all current efforts (including a major clinical trial) are aimed at repairing the myocardial component of the heart. To date, little attention has been dedicated at the potential repair of the damaged coronary vasculature.
The goal of this proposal is to lay groundwork for coronary vascular therapy based on embryonic stem cell technology. We hypothesize that human embryonic stem cells have the potential to generate coronary progenitor cells that can be clonally expanded. We also hypothesize that this clonally expanded population will retain the potential to differentiate into the diverse components of the coronary vasculature.
This proposal investigates new avenues for the cure of coronary artery disease, which is an increasing cause of mortality in the population of California.