A team at EARA member the Max Planck Institute of Heart and Lung Research, Germany, has shown for the first time, using basic research, how the heart can regenerate after damage.
Adult heart cells, known as cardiomyocytes, have very little capacity for repair due to the low number of regenerative stem cells present.
Using mice which have undergone heart injury, the researchers reprogrammed mature cardiomyocytes into foetal-like cardiomyocytes to make them resemble how they appear in early development and demonstrated that they could improve the recovery of the mice.
In a video on LinkedIn, lead scientist Johnny Kim, at Max Planck, explained how
the reprogrammed cardiomyocytes can repair the damaged heart and discusses the implications for novel approaches to aid heart regeneration using specialised viruses modified to deliver DNA (known as viral vectors) in collaboration with VectorBuilder, also an EARA member.
The results, published in Science, are now being tested in human cardiomyocytes.