Manipulating Heart Cells Into Regeneration

Via EurekAlert!: "Up until today scientists assumed that the adult heart is unable to regenerate. Now, researchers and cardiologists [have] been able to show that this dogma no longer holds true. [They] were able to show that the body`s own heart muscle stem cells do generate new tissue and improve the pumping function of the heart considerably in an adult organism, when they suppress the activity of a gene regulator known as beta-catenin [which] plays an important role in the development of the heart in embyros. [Researchers] could now show that beta-catenin is also important for the regeneration of the adult heart. They suppressed this factor in the nucleus of the heart cells in mice. This way they activated heart precursor cells (stem cells) to turn on the regeneration of heart in adult mice. Four weeks after blocking beta-catenin, the pumping function of the heart of the animals had improved and the mice survived an infarction much better than those animals with a functioning beta-catenin gene."

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-12/haog-hra121108.php

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