from the Yes,-I-DO-want-the-triple-cheeseburger dept.
Phys.org reports "Special cells contribute to regenerate the heart in zebrafish" which describes a study that has uncovered particular heart cells in the Zebra fish that are marked by SOX10 gene expression and play an enhanced role in the fish's heart's regeneration capability.
It is already known that zebrafish can flexibly regenerate their hearts after injury. An international research group led by Prof. Nadia Mercader of the University of Bern now shows that certain heart muscle cells play a central role in this process. The insights gained could be used to initiate a similar repair process in the human heart.
In humans, unfortunately, the heart has only minimal self-repair ability. Heart cells that die in heart attacks are replaced by scarring which does not assist in contraction.
After heart injury, zebrafish cardiomyocytes can divide and the scar is replaced by new cardiac muscle. The group of Nadia Mercader from the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Bern has been interested in understanding the cellular mechanisms of heart regeneration over the last 10 years. Now, the researchers show that not all cardiomyocytes in the zebrafish heart contribute equally to regenerate the lost muscle, but that there is a specific subset of cardiomyocytes with enhanced regenerative capacity.
Using transgenic tools, Marcos Sande-Melón, lead author of the study, and colleagues could identify a small subset of cardiomyocytes in the zebrafish heart, marked by sox10 gene expression that expanded more than the rest of the myocardial cells in response to injury. These cells differed from the rest of the myocardium also in their gene expression profile, suggesting that they represented a particular cell subset. Furthermore, experimental erasure of this small cell population impaired heart regeneration.
The researches are now interested in pursuing "whether the absence of such a SOX10 cell population in mammals could explain why their heart does not regenerate well" potentially leading to methods to stimulate heart repair in humans.
Marcos Sande-Melón et al, Adult sox10+ Cardiomyocytes Contribute to Myocardial Regeneration in the Zebrafish, Cell Reports (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.09.041
Ines J. Marques et al. Model systems for regeneration: zebrafish, Development (2019). DOI: 10.1242/dev.167692
Andrés Sanz-Morejón et al. Wilms Tumor 1b Expression Defines a Pro-regenerative Macrophage Subtype and Is Required for Organ Regeneration in the Zebrafish, Cell Reports (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.06.091
Héctor Sánchez-Iranzo et al. Transient fibrosis resolves via fibroblast inactivation in the regenerating zebrafish heart, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1716713115