Home Education Heart Precursor Cells Create Healthy Tissue After Heart Attack – ScienceDaily

Heart Precursor Cells Create Healthy Tissue After Heart Attack – ScienceDaily

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After a heart attack, the human body is unable to repair lost tissue due to the heart’s inability to generate new muscles. However, treatment with progenitor cells of the heart can lead to the formation of functional heart cells in the damaged areas. This new therapeutic approach has been introduced by the international team The nature of cell biology. The goal is to begin clinical trials in the next two years.

How can the heart be restored after a heart attack? The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 18 million people worldwide die of cardiovascular disease each year, and this is the subject of research worldwide. A possible answer may be treatment with an enriched pool of ventricular precursors derived from pluripotent human stem cells, or abbreviated HVP. An international team consisting of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and its University Hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar, the Swedish Karolinska Institutet, the Swedish biotech startup Procella Therapeutics and the biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, has studied this approach in a study. The nature of cell biology.

Many heart diseases lead to the death of heart muscle cells and blood vessels. They are replaced by fibrous scar tissue, which causes further deterioration of the heart. Some animals, particularly amphibians and fish, can repair such damage – the ability is almost completely absent in the heart of an adult. One experimental approach to recovering lost heart tissue is stem cell therapy. Previous studies have included the use of heart cells grown from stem cells, in particular: cardiomyocytes. However, frequent side effects, such as arrhythmia and fatal arrhythmia, occurred.

Cardiac progenitor cells instead of differentiated cardiac cells

In contrast, a team working with Karl-Ludwig Laugwitz, a professor of cardiology at TUM, is investigating progenitor cells in human ventricles. These cells play a crucial role in the formation of the heart during development. Over time, they differentiate into different cell types in the heart, including cardiomyocytes. The team has succeeded in producing large numbers of such HVPs from embryonic pluripotent human stem cells. “This is the culmination of two decades of our work trying to find the perfect cell to repair the heart,” says Kenneth R. Chien, a professor of cardiovascular research at the Carolina Institute.

Complex molecular mechanisms

With these cells, scientists have studied complex molecular processes involved in repairing damaged areas of the heart muscle. “In laboratory studies, we have been able to show how HVPs can in some sense track damaged areas in the heart, migrate to damaged areas and mature into working heart cells. They also actively prevent scar tissue formation by cross-talking with fibroblasts as we call cells. form a structural framework for non-functional connective tissue, ”says Professor Laugwitz, who heads the first medical department of the TUM Rechts der Isar clinic.

Successful treatment of pig hearts

As a next step, an interdisciplinary team used pigs to study the effectiveness of treating damaged HVP heart. Physiologically pig hearts are very similar to human ones. As a result, experiments with pigs are often conducted shortly before the start of human studies. The results show that heart damage can be reliably eliminated even in large animals without serious side effects. “The treatment successfully demonstrated the formation of new heart tissue and, importantly, improved heart function and reduced scar tissue,” said Dr. Regina Friche-Danielson, head of research and development at AstraZeneca.

Researchers are looking to begin clinical trials in the next two years

In the coming months and years, scientists plan to translate the results of their current research to develop treatments for heart disease. An important intermediate step is the development of hypoimmunogenic HVP lines. It is now necessary to inactivate the immune system of the recipient to prevent its destruction by treatment cells. Hypoimmunogenic cells eliminate the need for this step because they will not be identified as foreign bodies to the recipient. Further studies of hypoimmunogenic cells and possible side effects will be performed. The goal is to begin clinical trials on the therapeutic use of HVP over the next two years.

“New insights into the therapeutic use of HVP are an important milestone in the treatment of a variety of patients with severe heart failure,” says Professor Karl-Ludwig Laugwitz. “Especially elderly patients with coexisting diseases for whom major heart surgery would be an excessive burden will benefit from HVP treatment.”

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