Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How do you mend a broken heart? Coaxing the heart into making replacement cardiac muscle cells

Date:
January 25, 2012
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Scientists are closing in on signals that may be able to coax the heart into producing replacement cardiac muscle cells. Using a zebrafish model system, researchers have identified a family of molecules that can stimulate stem cells to develop into beating heart muscle cells. The research may pave the way towards new therapeutic approaches for cardiac regeneration and repair.

Damaged heart tissue is not known for having much inherent capacity for repair. But now, scientists are closing in on signals that may be able to coax the heart into producing replacement cardiac muscle cells. Using a zebrafish model system, researchers have identified a family of molecules that can stimulate stem cells to develop into beating heart muscle cells. The research, published by Cell Press in the December 21st issue of the journal Chemistry & Biology, may pave the way towards new therapeutic approaches for cardiac regeneration and repair.

Related Articles


"Despite advances in modern medicine, management of myocardial infarction and heart failure remains a major challenge," explains senior study author Dr. Tao P. Zhong from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. "There is intense interest in developing agents that can influence stem cells to differentiate into cardiac cells as well as enhance the inherent regenerative capacities of the heart. Developing therapies that can stimulate heart muscle regeneration in areas of infarction would have enormous medical impact."

To search for new molecules involved in heart development, Dr. Zhong and colleagues developed a robust small molecule screen using a zebrafish system. The zebrafish is an excellent model organism to study heart growth and development because there are established genetic approaches that permit visualization of fluorescent beating hearts within transparent embryos. After screening nearly 4,000 compounds, the researchers discovered three structurally related molecules that could selectively enlarge the size of the embryonic heart. The compounds, cardionogen-1, -2, and -3, could promote or inhibit heart formation, depending on when they were administered during development.

Cardionogen treatment enlarged the zebrafish heart by stimulating production of new cardiac muscle cells from stem cells. The researchers went on to show that cardionogen could stimulate mouse embryonic stem cells to differentiation into beating cardiac muscle cells. The effects of cardionogen were linked to Wnt signaling, a pathway best known for its role in embryonic and heart development. Cardionogen opposes Wnt signaling to induce cardiac muscle cell formation. Importantly, the interaction of cardionogen with Wnt seemed to be restricted to specific cell types.

Taken together, the results identify the cardionogen family members as important modulators of cardiac muscle cell development. "Evaluating the potential of cardionogen on human adult and embryonic stem cells is the next logical step," concludes Dr. Zhong. "This may ultimately aid in design of therapeutic approaches to enhance repopulation of damaged heart muscle and restore function in diseased hearts."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Terri T. Ni, Eric J. Rellinger, Amrita Mukherjee, Shuying Xie, Lauren Stephens, Curtis A. Thorne, Kwangho Kim, Jiangyong Hu, Ethan Lee, Larry Marnett, Antonis K. Hatzopoulos, Tao P. Zhong. Discovering Small Molecules that Promote Cardiomyocyte Generation by Modulating Wnt Signaling. Chemistry & Biology, 2011; 18 (12): 1658 DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2011.09.015

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "How do you mend a broken heart? Coaxing the heart into making replacement cardiac muscle cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111222133324.htm>.
Cell Press. (2012, January 25). How do you mend a broken heart? Coaxing the heart into making replacement cardiac muscle cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111222133324.htm
Cell Press. "How do you mend a broken heart? Coaxing the heart into making replacement cardiac muscle cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111222133324.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
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