Pitt researcher uses zebrafish to help mammalian hearts regenerate, including promising results in human heart cells in vitro
Many lower forms of life on earth exhibit an extraordinary ability to regenerate tissue, limbs, and even organs—a skill that is lost among humans and other mammals. Now, a University of Pittsburgh researcher has used the components of the cellular “scaffolding” of a zebrafish to regenerate heart tissues in mammals, specifically mice, as well as exhibiting promising results in human heart cells in vitro.
The findings offer promise to overcoming heart disease, the leading cause of death for men and women.
The study, led by Yadong Wang, the William Kepler Whiteford Professor in Bioengineering in the Swanson School of Engineering and the principal investigator of the Biomaterials Foundry at Pitt, found that a single administration of extracellular matrices (ECM) from zebrafish hearts restored the function of the heart and regenerated adult mouse heart tissues after acute myocardial infarction.
“The heart beats as if nothing has happened to it,” said Wang. “And our approach is really simple.”
The study also found that the zebrafish ECM protected human cardiac myocytes—specialized cells that form heart muscle—from stresses.
ECM are the architectural foundations of tissues and organs; not only do they provide a “scaffolding” on which cells can grow and migrate, they assist in the signaling necessary for the organ to develop, grow, or regenerate.
In mammals, the heart quickly loses the ability to regenerate after the organism is born, except for a brief period after birth. In lower animals, such as zebrafish, the heart retains that ability throughout their lives: up to 20 percent of a zebrafish’s heart can be damaged or removed, and within days the heart’s capacity has been fully restored.
Wang and his team first separated the ECM from the cells so that the recipient heart would not reject the treatment. They did this by freezing the zebrafish cardiac tissue, causing the cell membranes to burst and allowing the researchers to retrieve the ECM, a process called decellularization. Wang noted that he and his colleagues are among the first to decellularize non-mammalian tissues for applications in regenerative medicine. They then injected the ECM into the hearts of mice with damaged heart muscles and watched the hearts repair themselves.
“It’s difficult to inject foreign cells into a body because the body will recognize them as foreign and reject them; that’s not the case with ECM,” said Wang. Wang explained that, because ECMs are composed of collagen, elastin, carbohydrates and signaling molecules and have no cell surface markers, DNA or RNA from the donor, the recipient is less likely to reject the treatment.
Wang said that restored function starts almost immediately, and healing is noticeable as early as five days after treatment; within a week, his team could see the heart beating more strongly than the hearts of the untreated animals.
The researchers tested the effectiveness of ECM from normal zebrafish and from zebrafish with damaged hearts, in which the ECM had already begun the healing process. They found that while both types of ECM were effective in repairing damage to the mice hearts, the ECM obtained from the zebrafish hearts that were healing were even more potent in restoring heart function in the mice.
Wang is now working on a process to regenerate nerves in mammals using the same process and hopes to expand the heart treatments to larger animals in a future study.
Learn more: How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?
The Latest on: Heart regeneration
via Google News
The Latest on: Heart regeneration
- Hydrogel Injection Could Change Cardiac Tissue Healing After Heart Attackson March 4, 2021 at 12:09 am
Researchers at Spain's University of Valladolid , BIOFORGE Labs , the SFI Research Center and CÚRAM have created a hydrogel injectable that may prevent additional damage and assist in repairing heart ...
- The Possible Meat: A Brazilian farmer shows ranching can regenerate the Cerradoon March 3, 2021 at 2:23 am
Matheus Sborgia, then a 26-year-old Brazilian pastry chef, received sad news: Luis Sborgia, his grandfather, had passed away. Matheus was in Pollenzo, in northern Italy, about to graduate with a ...
- Using stimuli-responsive biomaterials to understand heart development, diseaseon March 2, 2021 at 8:00 am
Cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of death globally. Unfortunately, the heart cannot regenerate new tissue, because the cardiomyocytes, or heart muscle cells, do not divide after ...
- New injectable hydrogel could heal cardiac tissue after heart attackon March 1, 2021 at 10:23 pm
Researchers at CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at National University of Ireland Galway, and BIOFORGE Lab, at the University of Valladolid in Spain, have developed an ...
- Hydrogel injection may change the way the heart muscle heals after a heart attackon March 1, 2021 at 12:35 pm
Researchers have developed an injectable hydrogel that could help repair and prevent further damage to the heart muscle after a heart attack.
- Tenaya Therapeutics Secures $106 Million in Series C Funding to Accelerate Pipeline of Potentially Curative Therapies for Heart Diseaseon March 1, 2021 at 10:00 am
Tenaya Therapeutics, a company developing curative therapies for heart disease, today announced that it has secured $106 million in Series C funding.
- Tenaya grabs $106M top-up to push heart disease gene therapies to the clinicon March 1, 2021 at 5:00 am
With another $106 million in the bank, heart-focused Tenaya Therapeutics is ready to talk targets. The series C funding will propel several preclinical programs toward the clinic, including a gene ...
- A new microchip could help scientists uncover secrets of heart regeneration in baby miceon February 25, 2021 at 12:07 am
Baby mice might be small, but they're tough, too. For their first seven days of life, they have the special ability to regenerate damaged heart tissue. Humans, on the other hand, aren't so lucky: any ...
- Microchip can help scientists study the regenerative potential of mice heart cellson February 24, 2021 at 9:34 pm
Baby mice might be small, but they're tough, too. For their first seven days of life, they have the special ability to regenerate damaged heart tissue.
via Bing News