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Discovery Speeds Creation of Healthy Heart Cells From Scar Tissue
Mouse study findings might lead to better treatments for heart failure in humans

By Robert Preidt

THURSDAY, Nov. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A new discovery in mice may boost efforts to find an effective treatment for heart failure in humans, researchers say.

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco tested an estimated 5,500 chemicals and identified two that help transform scar tissue in the heart into healthy, beating heart muscle.

When heart muscle is damaged, the body can't repair dead or injured heart cells. The researchers investigated cellular reprogramming (turning one type of adult cell into another) as a way to regenerate heart muscle cells.

In experiments with mice, the investigators were able to convert 10 percent of scar tissue cells into heart muscle cells, according to an institute news release.

The two newly identified chemicals increased by eightfold the number of heart cells created. The chemicals also sped up the process, achieving in one week what used to take six to eight weeks. However, experts note that studies conducted in animals often fail to pan out in human trials.

"Heart failure afflicts many people worldwide, and we still do not have an effective treatment for patients suffering from this disease," said study first author Tamer Mohamed, a former postdoctoral scholar at Gladstone.

"With our enhanced method of direct cardiac reprogramming, we hope to combine gene therapy with drugs to create better treatments for patients suffering from this devastating disease," Mohamed said in news release.

There is no cure for heart failure, which affects 5.7 million Americans and costs the United States $30.7 billion a year, according to background information in the release.

The study was published Nov. 10 in the journal Circulation.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more on heart failure.

SOURCE: Gladstone Institutes, news release, Nov. 10, 2016

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=716688

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Heart
Cells
Tissues
Heart Failure, Congestive
Myocardium
Muscles
Therapeutics
Research Personnel
Stress, Psychological
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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