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Resources » Technical Resource Centers » Gene Technical Resources » Gene News » Scientists have identified the metabolic pathway associated with heart repair
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Scientists have identified the metabolic pathway associated with heart repair

October 24, 2017

A newborn’s ability to regenerate heart tissue is an amazing, if not short-lived, ability that allows for repair of the heart. This ability disappears forever within a week of being born. However, researchers have now unlocked the key to the heart’s proliferative capacity. University of Queensland researchers have identified the process that allows this to occur: a specific metabolic pathway.

How was this pathway identified and what does it mean for heart regeneration?

Scientists identified the pathway using experiments performed on engineered heart tissues grown from stem cells. Following a study that mapped the pathways found in mouse hearts, this new study correlated those pathways to the human heart, identifying the specific pathway in human heart tissues. By profiling and comparing heart with and without regeneration capacity, the specific pathway was isolated. The team is now working in tandem with AstraZeneca to target the pathway with drugs, in hopes of restoring the regenerative capacity of the heart to its infant stage.

Mills et al. Functional screening in human cardiac organoids reveals a metabolic mechanism for cardiomyocyte cell cycle arrest. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017 DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1707316114

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