Nanog is a potential stem cell marker and is considered a regeneration factor during tissue repair. In the present study, we investigated expression patterns of nanog in the rat heart after acute myocardial infarction by semi-quantitative RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry and Western blot analyses. Our results show that nanog at both mRNA and protein levels is positively expressed in myocardial cells, fibroblasts and small round cells in different myocardial zones at different stages after myocardial infarction, showing a spatio-temporal and dynamic change. After myocardial infarction, the nanog expression in fibroblasts and small round cells in the infarcted zone (IZ) is much stronger than that in the margin zone (MZ) and remote infarcted zone (RIZ). From day 7 after myocardial infarction, the fibroblasts and small cells strongly expressed nanog protein in the IZ, and a few myocardial cells in the MZ and the RIZ and the numbers of nanog-positive fibroblasts and small cells reached the highest peak at 21 days after myocardial infarction, but in this period the number of nanog-positive myocardial cells decreased gradually. At 28 days after myocardial infarction, the numbers of all nanog-positive cells decreased into a low level. Therefore, our data suggest that all myocardial cells, fibroblasts and small round cells are involved in myocardial reconstruction after cardiac infarction. The nanog-positive myocardial cells may respond to early myocardial repair, and the nanog-positive fibroblasts and small round cells are the main source for myocardial reconstruction after cardiac infarction.