Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Boring cells could hold the key to heart disease

Date:
April 24, 2014
Source:
Monash University
Summary:
Fibroblasts, cells long thought to be boring and irrelevant, could offer an alternative to heart transplants for patients with heart disease. "Heart disease is still one of the major killers in our society and so far no effective therapeutic options are available. Our laboratory aims to understand how the various cell types present in a heart can improve the outcome of heart failure,' said the lead researcher.

Cardiac fibroblasts.
Credit: Image courtesy of Monash University

Fibroblasts, cells long thought to be boring and irrelevant, could offer an alternative to heart transplants for patients with heart disease.

Related Articles


Researcher Dr Milena Furtado, and her team from the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) at Monash University, found the heart cell fibroblast is a close relative to a cardiomyocyte, the cell responsible for a healthy beating heart.

In research published today in Circulation Research, Dr Furtado has found that cardiac fibroblasts are unique cells due to their genetic program, and will aid in the development of cell therapies for congenital heart disease and heart failure.

"Heart disease is still one of the major killers in our society and so far no effective therapeutic options are available. Our laboratory aims to understand how the various cell types present in a heart can improve the outcome of heart failure,' Dr Furtado said.

"Fibroblasts were thought to act as a sort of biological glue, making sure that all parts of the body work effectively. We now know they are far more specialised than that and have organ specific functions."

Using cutting edge technology, the team found that cardiac fibroblasts have specific genes called transcription factors that tell them they should become a heart cell. Dr Furtado said they could be the best cells to use in replacement therapies, because they are the only fibroblasts in the body that have these characteristics.

"The cardiac fibroblasts are truly unique, no other cells remember where they came from, but these remember that they are heart cells. They hold the key to tackling changes that result in heart failure. Through our research our ultimate aim is to modify these cells so that we can improve the function of a sick heart," Dr Furtado said.

Dr Furtado and her team at ARMI will continue their research into heart cells, with a particular focus on fibroblasts. Development in this area will potentially lead to obtaining the cells from patients and modifying them in a laboratory to explore patient tailored therapies, promoting better outcome for patients with heart disease.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. M. B. Furtado, M. W. Costa, E. M. Adi Pranoto, E. Salimova, A. R. Pinto, N. T. Lam, A. Park, P. Snider, A. Chandran, R. P. Harvey, R. Boyd, S. J. Conway, J. T. Pearson, D. M. Kaye, N. Rosenthal. Cardiogenic Genes Expressed in Cardiac Fibroblasts Contribute to Heart Development and Repair. Circulation Research, 2014; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.114.302530

Cite This Page:

Monash University. "Boring cells could hold the key to heart disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424102434.htm>.
Monash University. (2014, April 24). Boring cells could hold the key to heart disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424102434.htm
Monash University. "Boring cells could hold the key to heart disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424102434.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. 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:

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