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AIMS: Stem cell-based regenerative therapies for the treatment of ischemic myocardium are currently a subject of intensive investigation. A variety of cell populations have been demonstrated to be safe and to exert some positive effects in human Phase I and II clinical trials, however conclusive evidence of efficacy is still lacking. While the relevance of animal models for appropriate pre-clinical safety and efficacy testing with regard to application in Phase III studies continues to increase, concerns have been expressed regarding the validity of the mouse model to predict clinical results. Against the background that hundreds of preclinical studies have assessed the efficacy of numerous kinds of cell preparations - including pluripotent stem cells - for cardiac repair, we undertook a systematic re-evaluation of data from the mouse model, which initially paved the way for the first clinical trials in this field. METHODS AND RESULTS: A systematic literature screen was performed to identify publications reporting results of cardiac stem cell therapies for the treatment of myocardial ischemia in the mouse model. Only peer-reviewed and placebo-controlled studies using magnet resonance imaging (MRI) for left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) assessment were included. Experimental data from 21 studies involving 583 animals demonstrate a significant improvement in LVEF of 8.59%+/- 2.36; p=.012 (95% CI, 3.7-13.8) compared with control animals. CONCLUSION: The mouse is a valid model to evaluate the efficacy of cell-based advanced therapies for the treatment of ischemic myocardial damage. Further studies are required to understand the mechanisms underlying stem cell based improvement of cardiac function after ischemia.

Original publication




Journal article


Cell Physiol Biochem

Publication Date





254 - 268


Heart, Meta-analysis, Mouse, Stem cell therapy, Animals, Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy, Databases, Factual, Disease Models, Animal, Heart, Humans, Mice, Myocardial Infarction, Regeneration, Stem Cell Transplantation, Ventricular Function, Left