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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 2171035, 16 pages
Review Article

Cell Therapy in Ischemic Heart Disease: Interventions That Modulate Cardiac Regeneration

Laboratório de Cardiologia Molecular e Celular (LCMC), Instituto de Cardiologia/Fundação Universitária de Cardiologia, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

Received 14 August 2015; Revised 26 October 2015; Accepted 10 November 2015

Academic Editor: Stefania Montagnani

Copyright © 2016 Maximiliano I. Schaun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The incidence of severe ischemic heart disease caused by coronary obstruction has progressively increased. Alternative forms of treatment have been studied in an attempt to regenerate myocardial tissue, induce angiogenesis, and improve clinical conditions. In this context, cell therapy has emerged as a promising alternative using cells with regenerative potential, focusing on the release of paracrine and autocrine factors that contribute to cell survival, angiogenesis, and tissue remodeling. Evidence of the safety, feasibility, and potential effectiveness of cell therapy has emerged from several clinical trials using different lineages of adult stem cells. The clinical benefit, however, is not yet well established. In this review, we discuss the therapeutic potential of cell therapy in terms of regenerative and angiogenic capacity after myocardial ischemia. In addition, we addressed nonpharmacological interventions that may influence this therapeutic practice, such as diet and physical training. This review brings together current data on pharmacological and nonpharmacological approaches to improve cell homing and cardiac repair.