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Gene therapy boosts mice survival from heart attacks

RATE THIS! +34
Posted in Science on 19th Dec, 2014 10:27 PM by AlexMuller

The enzyme telomerase repairs cell damage produced by aging, and has been used successfully in therapies to lengthen the life of mice. Now it has been observed that it could also be used to cure illnesses related to aging. Researchers have for the first time treated myocardial infarction with telomerase by designing a very innovative strategy:

 

A gene therapy that reactivates the telomerase gene only in the heart of adult mice, thus increasing survival rates in those animals by 17 % following a heart attack. "We have discovered that following a myocardial infarction, hearts that express telomerase show less heart dilatation, better ventricular function and smaller scars from the heart attack; these cardiac events are associated with an increased survival of 17 % compared to control animals," they say.

 
Furthermore, everything points to cardiomyocytes, the cells responsible for heart beating, being regenerated in those hearts with telomerase, a long searched-for goal in post-heart-attack therapy. The regeneration of heart muscle would counter the formation of scars as a consequence of the heart attack, a tough tissue that hinders cardiac function and increases the likelihood of heart failure.

Tags: heartgenesgeneticscellstelomeraseregenerative medicine

Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-12-20
+1
Gene therapy meets regenerative medicine - very good news and very promising application! One hopes that clinical trials will work out Reply


 

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