Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potentially powerful tool for treating damaged hearts identified in mouse study

Date:
April 30, 2014
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Summary:
A type of cell that builds mouse hearts can renew itself, researchers report. They say the discovery, which likely applies to such cells in humans as well, may pave the way to using them to repair hearts damaged by disease -- or even grow new heart tissue for transplantation. "Eventually, we might even be able to deliver cells to damaged hearts to repair heart disease," one researchers says.

A type of cell that builds mouse hearts can renew itself, Johns Hopkins researchers report. They say the discovery, which likely applies to such cells in humans as well, may pave the way to using them to repair hearts damaged by disease -- or even grow new heart tissue for transplantation.

Related Articles


In a study to be published in an upcoming issue of the journal eLife, the scientists also found that during heart formation, these so-called cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) multiply without becoming heart cells in a cellular environment known as the second pharyngeal arch. This insight into the biology of CPCs may contribute to better understanding of how to prevent and treat congenital heart defects, they say.

"Our finding that CPCs are self-renewing -- that they can keep dividing to form new CPCs -- means they might eventually be maintained in a dish and used to make specific types of heart cells," says Chulan Kwon, Ph.D., an assistant professor of cardiology and member of the Institute for Cell Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "Growing such cells in a dish would be an enormous step toward better treatment for heart disease."

Kwon's research group's first step was figuring out the role of two genes, Numb and Numbl, in CPCs, which others' studies had shown are needed for guiding stem and progenitor cells to their fully mature, specialized functions. Numb and Numbl are highly conserved, meaning that they're nearly identical in mice, humans and other animals, a sign that they're likely very important. To find out whether these genes are required for heart formation, the group disabled Numb and Numbl in early CPCs in developing mouse embryos. "The embryos failed to develop normal hearts and died at an early stage of development, showing us that Numb and Numbl are needed for CPCs to build the heart," Kwon says.

The researchers next set out to find where CPCs live in the developing embryo. Using embryonic stem cells from mouse embryos, they again disabled Numb and Numbl while also engineering the cells to produce a glowing red protein, which would give away the CPCs' location. But because the engineered stem cells alone wouldn't grow into a viable embryo, the team injected them into normal mouse blastocysts -- a structure formed in the early stage of mammalian development that forms both the embryo and placenta. "The normal cells in these blastocysts compensated for those that lacked Numb and Numbl, allowing the resulting embryos to survive," Kwon says.

When the team checked the hearts of the embryos, they found the glowing red cells in the second pharyngeal arch, which is known for forming parts of the neck and face. Kwon says theirs is the first study to identify it as home to CPCs. His team took cells surrounding CPCs from this arch and grew them with CPCs in a dish. They found that the CPCs self-renewed without developing into specialized heart cells. This is an important step, he says, toward using CPCs to treat heart disease.

The next step, he says, is to coax the lab-grown CPCs to form new heart tissue that could be used to regenerate disease-damaged heart tissue. "Eventually, we might even be able to deliver cells to damaged hearts to repair heart disease," Kwon says.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. L. T. Shenje, P. Andersen, H. Uosaki, L. Fernandez, P. P. Rainer, G.-s. Cho, D.-i. Lee, W. Zhong, R. P. Harvey, D. A. Kass, C. Kwon. Precardiac deletion of Numb and Numblike reveals renewal of cardiac progenitors. eLife, 2014; DOI: 10.7554/eLife.02164

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Potentially powerful tool for treating damaged hearts identified in mouse study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140430112245.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2014, April 30). Potentially powerful tool for treating damaged hearts identified in mouse study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140430112245.htm
Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Potentially powerful tool for treating damaged hearts identified in mouse study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140430112245.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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