In developed countries, in which people have nutrient-rich diets, convenient environments, and access to numerous medications, the disease paradigm has changed. Nowadays, heart failure is one of the major causes of death. In spite of this, the therapeutic efficacies of medications are generally unsatisfactory. Although whole heart transplantation is ideal for younger patients with heart failure, many patients are deemed to be unsuitable for this type of surgery due to complications and/or age. The need for therapeutic alternatives to heart transplantation is great. Regenerative therapy is a strong option. For this purpose, several cell sources have been investigated, including intrinsic adult stem or progenitor cells and extrinsic pluripotent stem cells. Most intrinsic stem cells seem to contribute to a regenerative environment via paracrine factors and/or angiogenesis, whereas extrinsic pluripotent stem cells are unlimited sources of cardiomyocytes. In this review, we summarize the various strategies for using regenerative cardiomyocytes including our recent progressions: non-genetic approaches for the purification of cardiomyocytes and efficient transplantation. We expect that use of intrinsic and extrinsic stem cells in combination will enhance therapeutic effectiveness.
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