Texas Heart Institute researchers uncover new ways to regenerate heart tissue after injury

Dividing adult cardiomyocytes (red). DNA (nuclei) are in blue, the cell division marker Aurora B is in green and cell membranes are in white.

Researchers in the Texas Heart Institute’s Cardiomyocyte Renewal Laboratory are a step closer to possibly restoring the regenerative properties of certain heart cells that are lost soon after a person is born.

In a study published Feb. 15 in Developmental Cell, Dr. James Martin and his team at THI and Baylor College of Medicine reported their ability to take highly differentiated heart cells called “cardiomyocytes” and coax them to adopt a more regenerative state.

“The adult heart’s regenerative ability exists at birth, but is lost postnatally, leading researchers to believe you could not make cardiomyocytes more proliferative,” said Dr. Martin.

This new study adds to the growing body of evidence that is challenging the widely accepted belief  that cardiomyocytes have poor renewal capacity.

Dr. Martin’s work continues to suggest adult hearts have regenerative capacity, and that heart tissue renewal is possible.


Read Full Story  Finding suggests ways to promote adult heart tissue regeneration

Image: Dividing adult cardiomyocytes (red), DNA nuclei (blue), the cell’s division marker Aurora B (green) and cell membranes (white).

Developmental Cell (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.01.017