A previously unknown type of stem cell is the culprit behind blocked blood vessels that can lead to heart attack and stroke, new research in mice suggests. It’s long been believed that smooth muscle cells within blood vessel walls combined with cholesterol and fat to clog arteries. But in research with mice, a team at the University of California, Berkeley found that’s not the case. Using genetic tracing, the investigators determined that a type of stem cell called a multipotent vascular stem cell is to blame and said it should be the focus in the search for new treatments.
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