Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Heart Regenerates After Infarction: First Trials With Mice

Date:
December 13, 2008
Source:
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Summary:
Up until today, scientists assumed that the adult heart is unable to regenerate. Now, researchers from Germany have been able to show that this dogma no longer holds true. They demonstrated that the body's heart muscle stem cells generate new tissue and improve the pumping function of the heart considerably in adult mice, when they suppress the activity of a gene regulator known as beta-catenin in the nucleus of the heart cells.

Up until today scientists assumed that the adult heart is unable to regenerate. Now, researchers and cardiologists from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Germany) have been able to show that this dogma no longer holds true.

Dr. Laura Zelarayán and Assistant Professor Dr. Martin W. Bergmann were able to show that the body`s own heart muscle stem cells do generate new tissue and improve the pumping function of the heart considerably in an adult organism, when they suppress the activity of a gene regulator known as beta-catenin in the nucleus of the heart cells.*

The gene regulator beta-catenin plays an important role in the development of the heart in embyros. Dr. Zelarayán and Dr. Bergmann could now show that beta-catenin is also important for the regeneration of the adult heart. They suppressed this factor in the nucleus of the heart cells in mice.

This way they activated heart precursor cells (stem cells) to turn on the regeneration of heart in adult mice. Four weeks after blocking beta-catenin, the pumping function of the heart of the animals had improved and the mice survived an infarction much better than those animals with a functioning beta-catenin gene. An important contribution to this project has been a transgenic mouse line generated by Professor Walter Birchmeier`s (MDC) laboratory.

Markers identified for Heart Muscle Stem Cells

In addition, the researchers have proven that heart muscle stem cells exist. So far, these cells had not been characterized clearly. They could demonstrate that two markers for heart cells – the structural protein alpha myosin heavy chain and the transcriptionfactor Tbx5 - are also expressed on heart precursor cells. "The evidence of cells with these markers in the adult heart demonstrates that stem cells dating back from heart development survive in niches in the adult heart", Dr. Bergmann explains.

The researchers in Germany collaborated with scientists in the Netherlands and Belgium. For this research, Dr. Bergmann was awarded the Wilhelm P. Wintersteinpreis this summer. The research group of Dr. Bergmann, a guest researcher at the MDC who recently became Deputy of the Department of Cardiology at the Asklepios Clinic St. Georg in Hamburg, belongs to the research group of Professor Rainer Dietz (MDC and Charité).

*Beta-catenin downregulation attenuates ischemic cardiac remodeling through enhanced resident precursor cell differentiation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Laura Zelarayán et al. Beta-Catenin downregulation attenuates ischemic cardiac remodeling through enhanced resident precursor cell differentiation. PNAS, Online December 10, 2008 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0808393105

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Heart Regenerates After Infarction: First Trials With Mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081211112016.htm>.
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. (2008, December 13). Heart Regenerates After Infarction: First Trials With Mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081211112016.htm
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Heart Regenerates After Infarction: First Trials With Mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081211112016.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) — A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) — As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins