New technology makes heart repair and regeneration simple. The human heart is a muscle much like any other in the body. It is necessary for the heart to get an appropriate quantity of blood, which carries oxygen. This is in order for the muscle to contract and pump blood to the rest of the body.
- An overview of heart disease
- Causes of heart disease
- New technology makes heart repair and regeneration simple
- Study showing its efficacy
The heart also pumps blood back to itself through the coronary arteries. This is in addition to pumping blood to the rest of the body. This helps the heart maintain its own blood supply.
These arteries have their beginnings at the base of the aorta. This is the principal blood vessel that transports oxygenated blood away from the heart. Then they branch out along the surface of the heart.
It may become difficult for an appropriate amount of blood to reach the heart, particularly when the person is exercising. This is when one or more of the coronary arteries become constricted.
Because of this, the heart muscle, just like the muscles in the rest of the body, might start to hurt. The amount of physical activity needed to stress the heart and cause symptoms may go down. That is, if the arteries keep narrowing.
Angina refers to the basic symptoms of chest discomfort or pressure along with shortness of breath that frequently extends to the shoulders, arms, and/or neck. These symptoms can be brought on by atherosclerotic heart disease (ASHD) or coronary artery disease (CAD).
New technology makes heart repair and regeneration simple
The blood supply to a portion of the heart runs the risk of being cut off. That is, in the event that one of the coronary arteries becomes fully clogged. That is, typically as a result of a plaque that ruptures and causes a blood clot to develop.
This results in the death of a portion of the heart muscle. This condition is referred to as a myocardial infarction or a heart attack. Myocardial infarction is the medical term for a heart attack.
Researchers at the University of Houston have reported the development of a technology. This technology is the first of its kind. It does not only repair heart muscle cells in mice but also regenerates them after a myocardial infarction.
According to Robert Schwartz, the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Recognized Professor of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Hawaii College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the ground-breaking discovery has the potential to become a potent clinical approach to treat heart disease in humans. The finding was published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Aging.
A Stem Cell-Like Growth Contribution Can Be Made by Synthetic mRNA
The innovative method that was created by the group of researchers makes use of synthetic messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA). This is in order to transport altered transcription factors to the mice’s hearts. Transcription factors are proteins that control how DNA gets changed into RNA.
Schwartz, who led the study along with recent Ph.D. graduate Siyu Xiao and Dinakar Iyer, a research assistant professor of biology and biochemistry at the university, said “No one seems to be able to do this to this level, and we believe it could become a treatment option for humans.” Xiao and Iyer are both assistant professors of biology and biochemistry.
Researchers found two mutant transcription factors called Stemin and YAP5SA. They work together to speed up the reproduction of heart muscle cells, or cardiomyocytes, that were taken from mouse hearts.
These tests were carried out in a laboratory with the use of tissue culture dishes.
Xiao said that the goal is to change the cardiomyocyte so that it acts more like a stem cell. This is to enable the cardiomyocytes to grow back and make more of themselves.
Features of cardiomyocytes
The features of cardiomyocytes that are similar to those of stem cells are activated by stemmin. Iyer was the one who made the discovery that Stemin played an essential part in their tests. Iyer referred to the transcription factor as a “game changer.”
In the meantime, YAP5SA achieves its effects by encouraging organ development, which in turn stimulates myocytes to multiply even more.
The research group will disclose their findings in a second article that will be published in the same publication. This article will discuss how Stemin and YAP5SA healed injured mouse hearts in vivo. Notably, after these transcription factors were injected into the heart, myocyte nuclei grew by at least 15 times in 24 hours.
Emilio Lucero, a doctoral student in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii, and Bradley McConnell, a professor of pharmacology at the university, worked together on the project to produce the infarcted adult mouse model.
According to Schwartz, the findings that were obtained after both transcription factors were administered into the infarcted adult mouse hearts were astonishing.
“The lab found that cardiac myocytes multiplied quickly within a day, and over the next month, hearts were almost back to normal in terms of how well they pumped blood, with very little scarring.”
According to Xiao, one further advantage of employing synthetic mRNA is that, in contrast to viral distribution, it degrades in a matter of days rather than weeks.
Because they are difficult to halt, gene treatments in which genetic material is supplied to cells through viral vectors create a number of biosafety problems. On the other hand, delivery based on mRNA breaks down over time and can no longer be found.
There Are Only a Certain Number of Cardiomyocytes
Schwartz and Iyer both contributed to this study over the course of several years. Xiao concentrated her PhD studies at the University of Hawaii on this line of inquiry. In the fall of 2020, she received her diploma.
Xiao stated, “I consider it both an honor and a privilege to have worked on this.” “This is important research on heart regeneration. This is especially when you think about how smart it is to use mRNA to deliver Stemin and YAP5SA,” writes the author.
The results are extremely noteworthy because the ability to regenerate adult cardiac muscle cells accounts for less than one percent of the total. She stated that the majority of individuals pass away with the majority of the same cardiomyocytes that they had in the first month of their lives.
It is possible for a person to lose their capacity to contract their heart if they have a heart attack since this causes the heart muscle cells to die.
The University of Houston, a Cullen Endowed Chair, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Leducq Foundation, and a sponsored research agreement from Animatus Biosciences, LLC all contributed funding to the study in some capacity.
Rui Lang from the University of Hawaii, Zhishi Chen and Jiang Chang from the Texas A & M Institute of Biosciences and Technology are some of the other people who contributed to this work.