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mdash;: Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death and disability in the US. Understanding the biological activity of stem and progenitor cells, and their ability to contribute to the repair, regeneration and remodeling of the heart and blood vessels affected by pathological processes is an essential part of the paradigm in enabling us to achieve a reduction in related deaths. Both human embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are promising sources of cells for clinical cardiovascular therapies. Additional in vitro studies are needed, however, to understand their relative phenotypes and molecular regulation toward cardiovascular cell fates. Further studies in translational animal models are also needed to gain insights into the potential and function of both human ES- and iPS-derived cardiovascular cells, and enable translation from experimental and preclinical studies to human trials.

(C) 2010 American Heart Association, Inc.