Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
RANDOX LABORATORIES

Events

10 May 2016 - 16 May 2016
11 May 2016 - 13 May 2016

Gene “Toggle” Regenerates Injured Heart Cells

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 08 May 2012
Print article
For the first time, researchers have transformed scar tissue that grows after a heart attack into regenerated heart muscle using microRNAs, according to new lab animal research. If validated in human studies, this finding could help prevent heart failure after a heart attack and applied to other types of tissue regeneration.

The study’s findings were reported online before print April 26, 2012, in Circulation Research, an American Heart Association journal. After a heart attack, heart muscle does not effortlessly regenerate and it accumulates scar tissue, comprised of cells called fibroblasts--increasing risk for heart failure.

“Researchers have tried various approaches, including the use of stem cells, to regenerate damaged heart muscle tissue,” said Victor J. Dzau, MD, the study’s senior author and a professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center (Durham, NC, USA). “This is the first study to use microRNA, which are small molecules that control gene expression, to reprogram fibroblasts into heart muscle cells. We have not only shown evidence of this tissue regeneration in cell cultures, but also in mice.”

Using microRNA is simpler than many other tissue-regenerating approaches, according to Dr. Dzau, who is also chancellor for health affairs at Duke University. For example, stem cells are not easy to work with and have ethical issues surrounding their use, he noted. “This research represents a major advance in regenerative medicine overcoming the difficulties encountered with stem cells, and may be applied to other conditions of tissue damage such as stroke and spinal cord injury.”

Dr. Dzau’s team identified a combination of three microRNA types that convert fibroblasts to muscle cells. In the next phase of research, the researchers will assess whether microRNAs repair damaged hearts in larger animals and improve heart function. If those studies prove safe and effective, they will begin human studies. “If everything comes to fruition, I think we will see this as a therapy in the next decade,” Dr. Dzau said. “Conceivably, we’ll use it to regenerate hearts damaged by heart attacks, avoiding heart failure and saving lives.”

Related Links:

Duke University Medical Center




Print article

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: A confocal microscopy image of human fibroblasts derived from embryonic stem cells. The nuclei appear in blue, while smaller and more numerous mitochondria appear in red (Photo courtesy of Dr. Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Oregon Health & Science University).

Stem Cells Derived from Older Individuals May Carry Unsafe Mitochondrial DNA Mutations

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from the skin fibroblasts of older individuals have a likelihood of harboring mitochondrial DNA mutations, which may render them unfit for clinical applications.... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel
Image: A space-filling model of the anticonvulsant drug carbamazepine (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Wastewater May Contaminate Crops with Potentially Dangerous Pharmaceuticals

Reclaimed wastewater used to irrigate crops is contaminated with pharmaceutical residues that can be detected in the urine of those who consumed such produce. Investigators at the Hebrew University... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

Huge Modifiable Biomedical Database to Be Available on the Wikidata Site

Genome researchers are exploiting the power of the open Internet community Wikipedia database to create a comprehensive resource for geneticists, molecular biologists, and other interested life scientists. While efficiency in generating scientific data improves almost daily, applying meaningful relationships between... Read more

Business

view channel

DNA Synthesis Specialists Acquire Advanced Software Design Capabilities

An American biotech firm that develops and produces synthetic DNA has established an international presence by purchasing an Israeli genetic design software company. Twist Bioscience Corporation (San Francisco, CA, USA), a company specializing in rapid, high-quality DNA synthesis, announced that Genome Compiler Corporation... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2016 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.