Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers enlist proteins to 'switch on' heart tissue repair system in animal models

Implications for future approach to treating heart disease

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine are utilizing a protein to "switch on" the ability to repair damaged heart tissue. By triggering the cell-cycle signal, researchers can manipulate cells in animal models to regenerate damaged heart tissue. If this research is someday successfully translated to humans, it could change the approach to treating heart disease, the nation's leading killer. The findings, now on-line, are in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association.

"This is a different concept in terms of how to address heart disease. The classic thinking is to replace a valve, or place a bypass graft. Traditionally, when the heart gets injured, there's dead tissue, and we work our way around it surgically, even replacing the heart with a transplant," explains principal investigator Joseph Woo, MD, Director of the Minimally Invasive and Robotic Cardiac Surgery Program at Penn and Assistant Professor of Surgery. "So we asked, 'What would be the most ideal, natural way of fixing any sort of problem like this?' If you look at nature, the best way is to simply re-grow the tissue. We know that if we take out a piece of the liver, our body has programming to grow it back to how it was."

However, unless the body receives some sort of "jump start," it does not heal dead tissue in the heart. This can have devastating effects. When tissue dies in the heart (for example, due to a heart attack), it is not able to contract and function as effectively to pump oxygenated blood throughout the body, which could ultimately lead to heart failure and death.

Working to better understand how to reverse this damage in humans, Woo first identified the signals in the rat heart that currently prevent the ability to re-grow damaged heart tissue. The researchers then manipulated those signals so the heart could work to regenerate itself.

Specifically, Woo's team investigated myocardial regeneration by initiating heart cell division and replication. They did this by expressing the cell-cycle regulator, a protein called cyclin A2. It is unique in its control at two major transitions of the cell cycle and is the only cyclin that is completely silenced after birth in mice, rats and humans. This approach -- using cyclin A2 expression via gene transfer -- yielded improved myocardial function.

"Penn is the first to do this kind of research with damaged heart tissue, by ramping up the body's native reparative system," states Woo. "We are examining the potential role of this regenerative strategy as a future therapy for heart failure. Someday, this could lead to less surgery and perhaps even less medicine in treating heart disease." Woo cautions that this research work has not yet been done on humans and that we may still be years away from that accomplishment.

Susanne Hartman | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>