Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
PZ HTL SA
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC

Gene Therapy Induces Functional Pacemaker Cells in Pig Heart Failure Model

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 30 Jul 2014
Image: This type of electronic pacemaker could become obsolete if induction of biological pacemaker cells by gene therapy proves successful (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
Image: This type of electronic pacemaker could become obsolete if induction of biological pacemaker cells by gene therapy proves successful (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
Cardiovascular disease researchers working with a porcine heart failure model have demonstrated the practicality of using gene therapy to replace implanted electronic pacemakers to regulate heartbeat.

Investigators at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute (Los Angeles, CA, US) examined whether adenoviral-TBX18 gene transfer could create biological pacemaker activity in vivo in a large-animal model of complete heart block. The Tbx18 gene is required for development of pacemaker cells in the heart during fetal development but is normally not functional after birth.

Tbx18 gene therapy is aimed at treating a group of arrhythmias known as sick sinus syndrome. In a healthy heart, sinoatrial (SA) nodal cells act as the heart’s pacemaker and cause the heart to beat in a regular rhythm. While SA nodal cells comprise only about 10 thousand of the 10 billion cells in the heart, they play a crucial role in the heart’s function. In sick sinus syndrome the SA node does not function properly and causes irregular heartbeat. Currently the treatment for sick sinus syndrome is to remove the SA nodal cells that are not functioning properly and to implant an electronic pacemaker to maintain a regular rhythm. However, currently used electronic pacemakers have drawbacks such as equipment malfunction, limited battery life, lack of nervous system regulation, and risks associated with implantation of the device in one’s chest.

The investigators reported in the July 16, 2014, online edition of the journal Science Translational Medicine that functional SA nodal cells, which could be identified by their distinctive morphology, were found at the site of adenovirus-TBX18 injection shortly after intramyocardial injection of the material. Biological pacemaker activity was evident in the TBX18-transduced animals starting at day two and persisted for the duration of the study (14 days) with minimal backup electronic pacemaker use. No local or systemic safety concerns arose during the course of the study.

“We have been able, for the first time, to create a biological pacemaker using minimally invasive methods and to show that the biological pacemaker supports the demands of daily life,” said senior author Dr. Eduardo Marbán, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. “We also are the first to reprogram a heart cell in a living animal in order to effectively cure a disease. Originally, we thought that biological pacemaker cells could be a temporary bridge therapy for patients who had an infection in the implanted pacemaker area. These results show us that with more research, we might be able to develop a long-lasting biological treatment for patients.”

The investigators hope that continued success with animal studies will lead to human clinical trials in about three years.

Related Links:
Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute



BIOSIGMA S.R.L.
RANDOX LABORATORIES
SLAS - Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening
comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel

MicroRNA Panel Identifies Mild Brain Trauma in a Mouse Model

A study conducted on a mouse model found that a panel of 13 serum microRNAs (miRNAs) could be used to identify the severity of damage to the brain and the risk of developing adverse effects following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). MTBI is a heterogeneous injury that may lead to the development of neurological and... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel

Omega 3 Found to Improve Behavior in Children with ADHD

Supplements of the fatty acids omega 3 and 6 can help children and adolescents who have a specific kind of have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Moreover, these findings indicate that a customized cognitive training program can improve problem behavior in children with ADHD. Statistics show that 3%–6%... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Blocking Enzyme Switch Turns Off Tumor Growth in T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Researchers recently reported that blocking the action of an enzyme “switch” needed to activate tumor growth is emerging as a practical strategy for treating T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. An estimated 25% of the 500 US adolescents and young adults diagnosed yearly with this aggressive disease fail to respond to... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: Mouse kidneys, liver, and pancreas imaged after treatment with a variety of protocols: a saline solution, Scale, SeeDB (see deep brain), CUBIC, and carotid body (CB) perfusion (which was used in this study) (Photo courtesy of RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center).

Nearly Transparent Mice Offers Potential of Whole-Organism Imaging

Japanese researchers have developed a method that combines tissue decolorization and light-sheet fluorescent microscopy to take extremely detailed images of the interior of individual organs and even entire... Read more

Business

view channel

Two Industry Partnerships Initiated to Fuel Neuroscience Research

Faster, more complex neural research is now attainable by combining technology from two research companies. Blackrock Microsystems, LLC (Salt Lake City, UT, USA), a developer of neuroscience research equipment, announced partnerships with two neuroscience research firms—PhenoSys, GmbH (Berlin, Germany) and NAN Instruments, Ltd.... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.