Scientists have turned scar tissue, that forms after a heart
attack, into heart muscles without using stem cells. An
international team, led by Duke University Medical Center, has used a new process which
eliminates the need for stem cell transplant — molecules called
microRNAs to trigger the tissue conversion in a laboratory dish.
And, for the first time, in a living mouse, the scientists
demonstrated the potential of a simpler process for tissue
regeneration, the Circulation Research journal said.
If additional studies confirm the approach in human cells,
it could lead to a new way for treating people who suffer heart
failure, which is often caused by scar tissue that develops
after a heart attack.
“This is a significant finding with many therapeutic
implications. If you can do this in the heart, you can do it in
the brain, the kidneys, and other tissues,” Victor J Dzau, who
led the team, said.
The researchers not only proved this concept in the
laboratory, but also demonstrated that cell conversion could
occur in a mouse. PTI