Towards Regeneration Without Stem Cells

An alternate path towards regenerative medicine - that requires a deeper understanding of cellular mechanisms - involves manipulating genetic and biochemical cues to induce cells into regeneration. EurekAlert reports that "heart-muscle cells, or cardiomyocytes, were previously considered incapable of replicating in mammals after birth, which is why heart attack is such a problem: once killed, heart tissue can't regenerate. Dr. Mark Keating and Dr. Felix Engel now show that an enzyme known as p38 MAP kinase suppresses cardiomyocyte replication, and that inhibiting p38 enables these cells to proliferate. ... This is just one baby step toward regenerative therapy, but it's an important one. Inhibiting p38 is now a candidate therapeutic strategy."



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