Despite many innovative advances in cardiology over the past 50 years, heart disease remains a major killer. The steady progress that continues to be made in diagnostics and therapeutics is offset by the cardiovascular consequences of the growing epidemics of obesity and diabetes. Truly innovative approaches on the horizon have been greatly influenced by new insights in cardiovascular development. In particular, research in stem cell biology, the cardiomyocyte lineage, and the interactions of the myocardium and epicardium have opened the door to new approaches for healing the injured heart.
Karl Degenhardt, Manvendra K. Singh, Jonathan A. Epstein
The normal roles that epicardium and epicardial-derived cells (EPDCs) play in development may have important implications for therapeutic approaches to adult heart disease.