Scientists Find the ‘Holy Grail of Heart Research’
Posted on Jun 8, 2011
Researchers in the U.K. have found a way to make the hearts of mice repair themselves—a feat that the British Heart Foundation calls the “holy grail” (when applied to humans, we’re guessing).
A drug that makes for self-repairing hearts has obvious value, but would probably be less effective in humans and is 10 years away, according to those in the know.
Such a drug would have to be taken in advance of heart failure in order to be effective. A description of how it works is excerpted below. —PZS
In adults epicardium-derived progenitor cells line the heart, but have become dormant.
Scientists used a chemical, thymosin beta 4, to “wake them up”.
Professor Paul Riley, from the University College London, said: “The adult epicardial cells which line the muscle of the heart can be activated, move inward and give rise to new heart muscle.”
Vintage Collective (CC-BY)