Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Anatomy and Cell Biology


Dr. Peter Merrifield

Second Advisor

Dr. Gerald Wisenberg

Third Advisor

Dr. Frank Prato


Heart failure from myocardial infarct (MI) is the leading cause of death in North America. While stem cell therapy for MI has been examined in many animal models and in clinical triais, the ability of stem cells to regenerate damaged myocardium is controversial. I have examined the ability of bone marrow and skeletal muscle derived stem cells to differentiate into cardiac and skeletal muscle following injection into infarcted dog hearts. Immunofluorescent co-localization of myosin heavy chain (MyHC) and the fluorescent cell marker PHK26 demonstrated that, while injected cells could be detected at injection sites, they did not express cardiac or skeletal muscle specific MyHC at 12 weeks post-injection. Histochemical localization of endothelial cell associated alkaline phosphatase activity demonstrated no statistical difference in angiogenesis. These results demonstrate that, under the conditions used in this study, bone marrow and skeletal muscle derived stem cells do not differentiate into cardiac or skeletal muscle.



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