Finding suggests ways to promote adult heart tissue regeneration

Finding suggests ways to promote adult heart tissue regeneration
Dr. James Martin. Credit: Baylor College of Medicine

Injured hearts do not heal themselves. Heart muscle cells, or cardiomyocytes, do not proliferate as much as necessary to replace dead tissue with new, pumping cells. Consequently, most people who had a severe heart attack or other injury to the heart, will develop heart failure, which remains the leading cause of mortality from heart disease. In this study published in the journal Developmental Cell, an international team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Heart Institute reports that they have been able to remove the 'brakes' that hold back cardiomyocyte proliferation, opening the possibility for treating heart disease by reprogramming adult cardiomyocytes to a more fetal cell state.

"Cardiomyocytes are very long-lived cells that are highly specialized to maintain a functional, pumping heart," said corresponding author Dr. James Martin, professor of molecular physiology and biophysics and Vivian L. Smith Chair in Regenerative Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. "However, they are so 'dedicated' to their job that they do not participate in other cellular activities, such as proliferation."

Cell proliferation is essential for tissue regeneration, so Martin and his colleagues have been investigating how to manipulate the genetic mechanisms that prevent cardiomyocyte proliferation in order to promote the repair of injured hearts.

The researchers had previously shown that the Hippo pathway stops cardiomyocyte proliferation by inhibiting the activity of the YAP pathway. In this study, the researchers developed a expressing in adult cardiomyocytes a version of YAP called YAP5SA that is impervious to the inhibitory influence of Hippo.

"We showed that by expressing YAP5SA, we could reprogram these highly specialized adult cardiomyocytes to look more like embryonic cells. The reprogramed cells also can proliferate and the new cells make connections with pre-existing cardiomyocytes," said Martin, who also is director of the Cardiomyocyte Renewal Lab at the Texas Heart Institute.

Reprograming of adult cardiomyocytes had not been done in live animals before, explains Martin.

"This study shows that it is possible to push those very specialized cells back to a more fetal state by manipulating the right genes," Martin said. "And this opens possibilities for treating by reprograming cardiomyocytes."


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Research reveals new insights into why the heart does not repair itself

More information: Developmental Cell (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.01.017
Journal information: Developmental Cell

Citation: Finding suggests ways to promote adult heart tissue regeneration (2019, February 14) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-02-ways-adult-heart-tissue-regeneration.html
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Feb 14, 2019
I had a heart attack in 2003 that required me to be resuscitated twice. My EKG showed evidence of that event for at least a decade, but since about 2010, my EKG has gradually cleared up, until the last one I had about 6 months ago showed absolutely no trace of the attack.

I was told by a cardiologist the reason this happened is because my heart healed the damage. That current;y, I have a completely healthy heart and have no more likelihood of another attack that anyone else my age does.

I am puzzled how this very real life experience can be reconciled with this article, because it is clear (proof by existence) that at least some hearts do heal after having a heart attack.

Feb 14, 2019
The fact is, all ailments are manifestations of demons and the demons are in response to sins committed. The sins are related to the ailment. Lying causes heart disease; back stabbing gives rise to Alzheimer's; depraved indifference causes cancer; pettiness leads to diabetes. And losing faith in God produces sinus related affairs. Since all sin comes from not having faith in God, that's why so many diseases start with "cold and flu like symptoms". Even death is not inevitable. If you are doing what God wants done, He will not remove you.

Feb 15, 2019
The fact is, all ailments are manifestations of demons and the demons are in response to sins committed. The sins are related to the ailment... all sin comes from not having faith in God... Even death is not inevitable. If you are doing what God wants done, He will not remove you.


LOL!

Are you a Christian Scientist, Julian - or a satirist? What ailments have you suffered from during your life, and what sins were responsible for those ailments? Also, please provide the names of half a dozen people aged 125+ who are still enjoying a hale, hearty, active and ailment-free life due to following your precepts.

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