Factor fixes damaged hearts

A growth factor injected into adult mice spurs heart muscle cells to proliferate, helping heal heart attack damage

Kelly Rae Chi
Jul 22, 2009
A growth factor injected into adult mice with damaged hearts can stimulate differentiated heart cells to proliferate, promoting regeneration after heart attack, according to a study published tomorrow (July 24) in Cell. The study is "a big advance," linkurl:Doug Sawyer,;https://medschool.mc.vanderbilt.edu/facultydata/php_files/show_faculty.php?id3=16376 a cardiologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, who was not involved in the research, told The Scientist. Heart muscle cells are known to proliferate during fetal development, but were previously thought to differentiate terminally soon after birth. During the last 15 years, however, an increasing body of evidence has hinted that these cells can re-enter the cell cycle and regenerate. Bernhard Kühn, a linkurl:pediatric cardiologist;http://www.childrenshospital.org/cfapps/research/data_admin/Site2562/mainpageS2562P0.html at Children's Hospital Boston, and his colleagues gave mice an intraperitoneal injection of neuregulin1 one week after inducing heart attacks, and then administered daily injections for 12 weeks. Two weeks after the final injection, they examined the heart tissue to...
ScienceThe movie shows a differentiated mononucleated cardiomyocyte expressing a GFP tagged H2B fusion construct. Time-lapse video microscopy shows this cardiomyocyte undergoes karyokinesis (nuclear division), followed by cytokinesis (cellular division). This mononucleated cardiomyocyte completes the cell-cycle giving rise to two daughter cardiomyocytes. Credit: K. Bersell et al., Cell 138:257-70, July 24, 2009



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