Exploring pericyte and cardiac stem cell secretome unveils new tactics for drug discovery

Georgina M. Ellison-Hughes, Paolo Madeddu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
276 Downloads (Pure)


Ischaemic diseases remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality despite continuous advancements in medical and interventional treatments. Moreover, available drugs reduce symptoms associated with tissue ischaemia, without providing a definitive repair. Cardiovascular regenerative medicine is an expanding field of research that aims to improve the treatment of ischaemic disorders through restorative methods, such as gene therapy, stem cell therapy, and tissue engineering. Stem cell transplantation has salutary effects through direct and indirect actions, the latter being attributable to growth factors and cytokines released by stem cells and influencing the endogenous mechanisms of repair. Autologous stem cell therapies offer less scope for intellectual property coverage and have limited scalability. On the other hand, off-the-shelf cell products and derivatives from the stem cell secretome have a greater potential for large-scale distribution, thus enticing commercial investors and reciprocally producing more significant medical and social benefits. This review focuses on the paracrine properties of cardiac stem cells and pericytes, two stem cell populations that are increasingly attracting the attention of regenerative medicine operators. It is likely that new cardiovascular drugs are introduced in the next future by applying different approaches based on the refinement of the stem cell secretome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalPharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number2017
Early online date2 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Cardiac stem cells
  • Drug discovery
  • Pericytes
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Secretome


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