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
Fish recognize their prey by electric colors
13.11.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection
13.11.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
13.11.2018 | Life Sciences
13.11.2018 | Life Sciences
13.11.2018 | Awards Funding