Heart can heal using own immune cells, say US researchers

25 October 2016

The heart contains its own pool of immune cells capable of helping it heal after injury, according to new research in the US.

In a mouse model of heart failure, the researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, showed that blocking the bone marrow's macrophages from entering the heart protects the organ's beneficial pool of macrophages, allowing them to remain in the heart, where they promote regeneration and recovery.

"Researchers have known for a long time that the neonatal mouse heart can recover well from injury, and in some cases can even regenerate," said first author Kory J. Lavine, MD, PhD, instructor in medicine. "If you cut off the lower tip of the neonatal mouse heart, it can grow back. But if you do the same thing to an adult mouse heart, it forms scar tissue."

The findings may have implications for treating heart failure in humans. The study is available in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.



Privacy Policy
We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.