Identify cells of the heart respond to heart attack and increase the chances of survival

Stem cells to treat the ictusUn treatment shows that it can delay the menopause about seven years ago One of the biggest challenges in recovering from a myocar

Identify cells of the heart respond to heart attack and increase the chances of survival
Stem cells to treat the ictusUn treatment shows that it can delay the menopause about seven years ago

One of the biggest challenges in recovering from a myocardial infarction is that the heart of the human does not recover fully after a heart attack. But now, researchers from the Institute Hubrecht and the UMC of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) has seen that the cells which surround the area 'infarcted' are able to give a response important to the survival of the heart muscle.

This information, combined with research on similar cells in animals in which the heart recovers completely after a heart attack, may lead to new treatments for patients who have suffered heart damage. The results have been published in the scientific journal "Circulation".

cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the western world.

After a heart attack, scar tissue replaces the damaged heart muscle . And, for this reason, the heart damage is permanent, and produces a chronic heart failure.

however, in some animals, such as zebrafish, the heart regenerates fully after a heart attack. In these cases it is the healthy heart tissue adjacent to the damaged area of the heart that are responsible for this recovery. This area is known as the 'border zone'. The experts believe that studying the border area in different species can teach us more about the response of the heart to a heart attack, so that, eventually, be able to induce this response in humans to retrieve the heart muscle lost after a heart attack.

experts believe that studying the border area in different species can teach us more about the response of the heart to a heart attack

researchers have now discovered that the heart of the mouse, which is permanently damaged after a heart attack like the human heart, it also develops a ' border area '. "In the cells located in the border area, the genetic program that is normally active in the cells of the heart muscle is replaced by a genetic program that will help the cells to deal with heart damage," explains Karel van Duivenboden. In addition, it has been revealed that this program is incredibly relevant to survive in the face of a heart attack. When you turn off one of the genes in this program, called NPPB, in mice with a heart attack, the possibility of survival was much lower.

infarcted Heart mouse - Marie Gunthel, © Amsterdam UMC

To study the heart tissue of patients who had had a heart attack, the researchers also identified a border area in humans. And this border area responds similarly to a heart attack. However, the border area human turned out to be located in a different area than what the doctors had thought of up until now.

Now that we know that humans also develop a border zone after a heart attack, we can begin to investigate why the hearts of humans and mice do not recover after a heart attack, while the hearts of some other animal they do

"Now that we know that humans also develop a border zone after a heart attack, we can begin to investigate why the hearts of humans and mice do not recover after a heart attack, while the hearts of some other animals do," says Dennis de Bakker,

In his ipinión, " it is possible that, in the future, we can activate the cells in the border zone to regenerate the heart tissue lost , in order to restore the heart after a heart attack. For now, however, this remains a dream for the future".

Updated Date: 19 September 2019, 19:01

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