Mesenchymal stem cells originate from the mesoderm, the middle germ layer of an embryo, and play a vital role in the formation of connective tissue such as bone, cartilage, marrow, fat and blood. They are also precursor cells that help to produce cardiac, skeletal, and smooth muscle. Mesenchymal stem cells are found in every organ of the body but are most commonly obtained from bone marrow. Mesenchymal stem cells are classified as multi-potent stem cells. Multi-potent stem cells can transform into many different cell types that are of the same lineage. These innate traits make them prime candidates for use in developing heart disease treatments. While research and clinical trials are still in their infant stages, mesenchymal stem cells possess many desirable characteristics necessary to successfully regenerate heart tissue and restore heart function after heart attack.
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