Bone marrow-derived cell therapy in chagasic cardiac disease: a review of pre-clinical and clinical results
Chagas disease is caused by a protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which infects people through blood sucking insects. It is endemic in Latin America and the disease is being spread to developed countries as a result of the migration of infected individuals. In its chronic stage, Chagas disease can lead to a severe cardiomyopathy for which there is currently no cure. End-stage patients require heart transplantation, thus demanding new therapeutic modalities. Cell-based therapy has been proposed as an alternative for various forms of heart disease. Here we review the experimental evidence that led to the use of bone marrowderived cells in putative therapy for chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy in animal models and in clinical trials, discussing the reasons for failure of the translation of results from mice to men.