The molecule, Thymosin beta-4 (TB4), is expressed by embryos during the heart’s development and encourages migration of heart cells. The new findings in mice suggest that introducing TB4 systemically after a heart attack encourages new growth and repair of heart cells.
The research findings indicate that the molecule affects developmental gene expression as early as 24 hours after systemic injection. The UT Southwestern study is online and will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology.
“This molecule has the potential to reprogram cells in the body to get them to do what you want them to do,” said Dr. J. Michael DiMaio, associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study. Obviously, the clinical implications of this are enormous because of the potential to reverse damage inflicted on heart cells after a heart attack.”
Tremendous medical progress has been made to counter the damaging effects of heart attacks, but ordinarily, mammalian hearts are incapable of repairing themselves following damage. They are also limited in their ability to form new blood vessels. Earlier studies demonstrated that TB4 is expressed in the embryonic heart and stimulates cardiac vessels to form. It was therefore thought that introduction of TB4 might activate new vessel growth in the adult heart.
In this mouse study researchers found that TB4 initiates capillary tube formation of adult coronary endothelial cells in tissue culture. The molecule also encourages cardiac regeneration by inhibiting death in heart cells after an injury such as a heart attack and by stimulating new vessel growth.
“We observed that by injecting this protein systemically, there was increased cardiac function after a heart attack,” said Dr. Ildiko Bock-Marquette, assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery at UT Southwestern and the study’s lead author. “We hope this protein can inhibit cell death that occurs during a heart attack in the short term, and that it may initiate new growth of coronary vessels by activating progenitor cells in the long term.”
Researchers assessed the effect of TB4 on new vessel growth in adult mice after inducing heart attacks and then following up by introducing TB4 into the animals. An examination of the capillary smooth muscle cells following treatment with TB4 showed a significant increase in capillary density in the heart three days afterward near the site of the heart attack, the scientists reported.
Further studies will examine whether the same events occur in larger mammals and which receptors are responsible for the action of this molecule.
Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study were Santwana Shrivastava, research assistant; and John Shelton, senior research scientist. Study authors also included Dr. Teg Pipes, former postdoctoral fellow; Jeffrey Thatcher, a doctoral candidate in biomedical engineering; Dr. Cristi Galindo, postdoctoral research fellow; and co-senior author, Dr. Eric Olson, chairman of molecular biology.
The work was supported by the Ted Nash Long Life Foundation, the American Heart Association, and the National Institutes of Health.
Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/heartlungvascular to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in cardiology and cardiothoracic and vascular surgery.
Dr. J. Michael DiMaio -- http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/findfac/professional/0,2356,36393,00.html
Katherine Morales | Newswise Science News
Further reports about: > Cells > Damaged Heart Cells > Heart > Heart Attack > Molecule > TB4 > Thymosin beta-4 > blood vessel > blood vessel growth > cardiac regeneration > cardiothoracic surgery > embryonic coronary developmental program > embryonic heart > endothelial cell > heart attacks > heart cells > thoracic surgery
More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy