Many studies have shown the existence of cardiac stem cells in the myocardium and epicardial progenitor cells in the epicardium. However, the characteristics of stem cells in the endocardium has not been fully elucidated. In this study, we investigated the origin of newly identified cells in the blood and their therapeutic potential. The new population of cells, identified from human peripheral blood, was quite different from previously reported stem cells. These newly identified cells, which we named Circulating Multipotent Stem (CiMS) cells, were multipotent, and therefore differentiated into multiple lineages in vitro and in vivo. In order to determine the origin of these cells, we collected peripheral blood from a group of patients who underwent bone marrow, liver, heart, or kidney transplantation. We identified the endocardium as the origin of these cells because the Short Tandem Repeat profile of CiMS cells from the recipient had changed from the recipient's profile to the donor's profile after heart transplantation. CiMS cells significantly increased after stimuli to the endocardium, such as catheter ablation for arrhythmia or acute myocardial infarction. CiMS cells circulate in human peripheral blood and are easily obtainable, suggesting that these cells could be a promising tool for cell therapy.
Keywords : Stem cells; Peripheral blood; Heart; Induced pluripotent stem cells; Endocardium