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posted by Fnord666 on Friday October 25 2019, @09:16AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
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.

More information
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


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25 2019, @09:26AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25 2019, @09:26AM (#911567)

    Maybe we can surreptitiously introduce a heart into congresswoman Pelosi?

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday October 25 2019, @09:45AM (1 child)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 25 2019, @09:45AM (#911570) Homepage Journal

      That's not even funny. Where would she keep a heart?

      --
      "Trust the science" -- Tony Fauci and his army of psycophants
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25 2019, @12:15PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25 2019, @12:15PM (#911600)

        She would sure look funny, walking around with a heart up her ass.

  • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Friday October 25 2019, @12:00PM (3 children)

    by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Friday October 25 2019, @12:00PM (#911594) Journal

    The thing that blows my mind is that we even know that zebrafish have special hearts. I man who the hell first looked at a little cm-long fish and thought "I'd really like to research the heart on that thing, just in case it has some special properties that might be useful to human medicine". Or maybe some aquarium enthusiast looked in his tank one day and thought "wow, little Zebedee seems to have recovered remarkably well from that heart attack he suffered last week. Perhaps I should take a biopsy."

    I mean how are these things discovered in the first place? And just how many more useful but undiscovered quirks are out there in the natural world? Do moths not get migraines? Are cockroaches resistant to cancer? Do stag beetles have stupendous spleens? Who the fuck knows? And how do we even begin to find out?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25 2019, @12:31PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25 2019, @12:31PM (#911607)

      This is a really good point, and I think it can be summed up as:
      "Research ALL the things!"

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Friday October 25 2019, @01:04PM

        by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Friday October 25 2019, @01:04PM (#911617) Journal

        I can only assume that somebody was looking for a new heart treatment, and decided to investigate all 8.7 million species in the animal kingdom.

        "Well guys, it's been a long road. We've gone all the way from Aardvark to Zebra with nothing. If what we're looking for isn't in this zebrafish or that zooplankton, we're screwed. Cross your fingers everyone..."

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by inertnet on Friday October 25 2019, @03:02PM

      by inertnet (4071) on Friday October 25 2019, @03:02PM (#911650)

      Just guessing, but I'd say that a researcher at one time had a sick or damaged zebrafish that unexpectedly recovered. A lot of scientific discoveries start out after someone said: "now that's odd...".

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