Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Molecule Prompts Damaged Heart Cells To Repair Themselves After A Heart Attack

Date:
April 13, 2009
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
A protein that the heart produces during its early development reactivates the embryonic coronary developmental program and initiates migration of heart cells and blood vessel growth after a heart attack, researchers have found.

Drs. J. Michael DiMaio and Ildiko Bock-Marquette have found in mice that the molecule Thymosin beta-4 affects developmental gene expression in heart cells as early as 24 hours after systemic injection. The new findings suggest that introducing TB4 after a heart attack encourages new growth and repair of these cells.
Credit: UT Southwestern Medical Center

A protein that the heart produces during its early development reactivates the embryonic coronary developmental program and initiates migration of heart cells and blood vessel growth after a heart attack, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

Related Articles


The molecule, Thymosin beta-4 (TB4), is expressed by embryos during the heart's development and encourages migration of heart cells. The new findings in mice suggest that introducing TB4 systemically after a heart attack encourages new growth and repair of heart cells. The research findings indicate that the molecule affects developmental gene expression as early as 24 hours after systemic injection. The UT Southwestern study is online and will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology.

"This molecule has the potential to reprogram cells in the body to get them to do what you want them to do," said Dr. J. Michael DiMaio, associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study. Obviously, the clinical implications of this are enormous because of the potential to reverse damage inflicted on heart cells after a heart attack."

Tremendous medical progress has been made to counter the damaging effects of heart attacks, but ordinarily, mammalian hearts are incapable of repairing themselves following damage. They are also limited in their ability to form new blood vessels. Earlier studies demonstrated that TB4 is expressed in the embryonic heart and stimulates cardiac vessels to form. It was therefore thought that introduction of TB4 might activate new vessel growth in the adult heart.

In this mouse study researchers found that TB4 initiates capillary tube formation of adult coronary endothelial cells in tissue culture. The molecule also encourages cardiac regeneration by inhibiting death in heart cells after an injury such as a heart attack and by stimulating new vessel growth.

"We observed that by injecting this protein systemically, there was increased cardiac function after a heart attack," said Dr. Ildiko Bock-Marquette, assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery at UT Southwestern and the study's lead author. "We hope this protein can inhibit cell death that occurs during a heart attack in the short term, and that it may initiate new growth of coronary vessels by activating progenitor cells in the long term."

Researchers assessed the effect of TB4 on new vessel growth in adult mice after inducing heart attacks and then following up by introducing TB4 into the animals. An examination of the capillary smooth muscle cells following treatment with TB4 showed a significant increase in capillary density in the heart three days afterward near the site of the heart attack, the scientists reported.

Further studies will examine whether the same events occur in larger mammals and which receptors are responsible for the action of this molecule.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study were Santwana Shrivastava, research assistant; and John Shelton, senior research scientist. Study authors also included Dr. Teg Pipes, former postdoctoral fellow; Jeffrey Thatcher, a doctoral candidate in biomedical engineering; Dr. Cristi Galindo, postdoctoral research fellow; and co-senior author, Dr. Eric Olson, chairman of molecular biology.

The work was supported by the Ted Nash Long Life Foundation, the American Heart Association, and the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ildiko Bock-Marquette, Santwana Shrivastava, G.C. Teg Pipes, Jeffrey E. Thatcher, Allissa Blystone, John M. Shelton, Cristi L. Galindo, Bela Melegh, Deepak Srivastava, Eric N. Olson, J. Michael DiMaio. Thymosin β4 mediated PKC activation is essential to initiate the embryonic coronary developmental program and epicardial progenitor cell activation in adult mice in vivo. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, 2009; 46 (5): 728 DOI: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2009.01.017

Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Molecule Prompts Damaged Heart Cells To Repair Themselves After A Heart Attack." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090410123505.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2009, April 13). Molecule Prompts Damaged Heart Cells To Repair Themselves After A Heart Attack. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090410123505.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Molecule Prompts Damaged Heart Cells To Repair Themselves After A Heart Attack." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090410123505.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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