[GRG] Coronary arteries hold heart-regenerating cells

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Coronary arteries hold heart-regenerating cells

Date:

August 20, 2014

Source:

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Summary:

Endothelial cells residing in the coronary arteries can function as
cardiac stem cells to produce new heart muscle tissue,
investigators have discovered. The heart has long been considered
to be an organ without regenerative potential, said one expert.
Recent findings, however, have demonstrated that new heart muscle
cells are generated at a low rate, suggesting the presence of
cardiac stem cells. The source of these cells was unknown.

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“People thought that the same heart you had as a young child, you
had as an old man or woman as well,” said Antonis Hatzopoulos,
Ph.D. Recent findings, however, have demonstrated that new heart
muscle cells are generated at a low rate, suggesting the presence
of cardiac stem cells.

Credit: © Sergey Nivens / Fotolia

[Click to enlarge image]

Endothelial cells residing in the coronary arteries can function as
cardiac stem cells to produce new heart muscle tissue, Vanderbilt
University investigators have discovered.

The findings, published recently in Cell Reports, offer insights
into how the heart maintains itself and could lead to new
strategies for repairing the heart when it fails after a heart
attack.

The heart has long been considered to be an organ without
regenerative potential, said Antonis Hatzopoulos, Ph.D., associate
professor of Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology.

“People thought that the same heart you had as a young child, you
had as an old man or woman as well,” he said.

Recent findings, however, have demonstrated that new heart muscle
cells are generated at a low rate, suggesting the presence of
cardiac stem cells. The source of these cells was unknown.

Hatzopoulos and colleagues postulated that the endothelial cells
that line blood vessels might have the potential to generate new
heart cells. They knew that endothelial cells give rise to other
cell types, including blood cells, during development.

Now, using sophisticated technologies to “track” cells in a mouse
model, they have demonstrated that endothelial cells in the
coronary arteries generate new cardiac muscle cells in healthy
hearts. They found two populations of cardiac stem cells in the
coronary arteries — a quiescent population in the media layer and
a proliferative population in the adventitia (outer) layer.

The finding that coronary arteries house a cardiac stem cell
“niche” has interesting implications, Hatzopoulos said. Coronary
artery disease — the No. 1 killer in the United States — would
impact this niche.

“Our study suggests that coronary artery disease could lead to
heart failure not only by blocking the arteries and causing heart
attacks, but also by affecting the way the heart is maintained and
regenerated,” he said.

The current research follows a previous study in which Hatzopoulos
and colleagues demonstrated that after a heart attack, endothelial
cells give rise to the fibroblasts that generate scar tissue.

“It looks like the same endothelial system generates myocytes
(muscle cells) during homeostasis and then switches to generate
scar tissue after a myocardial infarction. After injury,
regeneration turns to fibrosis,” he said.

Understanding this switch could lead to new strategies for
restoring regeneration and producing new heart muscle after a heart
attack, during aging or in disease conditions such as diabetes and
high blood pressure, he said.

“If we can understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate the
fate switch that happens after injury, perhaps we can use some sort
of chemical or drug to restore regeneration and make muscle instead
of scar,” Hatzopoulos said. “We think there is an opportunity here
to improve the way we treat people who come into the clinic after
myocardial infarction.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Vanderbilt
University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for
content and length.

Journal Reference:
1.Bryan A. Fioret, Jeremy D. Heimfeld, David T. Paik, Antonis K.
Hatzopoulos. Endothelial Cells Contribute to Generation of Adult
Ventricular Myocytes during Cardiac Homeostasis. Cell Reports,
2014; 8 (1): 229 DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.06.004

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Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Coronary arteries hold heart-
regenerating cells.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2014.
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About Johnny Adams

My full-time commitment is to slow and ultimately reverse age related functional decline to increase healthy years of life. I’ve been active in this area since the 1970s, steadily building skills and accomplishments. I have a good basic understanding of the science of aging, and have many skills that complement those of scientists so they can focus on science to advance our shared mission. Broad experience Top skills: administration, management, information technology (data and programming), communications, writing, marketing, market research and analysis, public speaking, forging ethical win-win outcomes among stakeholders (i.e. high level "selling"). Knowledge in grant writing, fundraising, finance. Like most skilled professionals, I’m best described as a guy who defines an end point, then figures out how to get there. I enjoy the conception, design, execution and successful completion of a grand plan. Executive Director Gerontology Research Group (GRG). Manages Email discussion forum, web site, meetings and oversees supercentenarian (oldest humans, 110+ years) research. CEO / Executive Director Carl I. Bourhenne Medical Research Foundation (Aging Intervention Foundation), an IRS approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit. http://www.AgingIntervention.org Early contributor to Supercentenarian Research Foundation. Co-Founder Geroscience Healthspan Forum. Active contributor to numerous initiatives to increase healthy years of life. Co-authored book on conventional, practical methods available today to slow the processes of aging – nutrition, exercise, behavior modification and motivation, stress reduction, proper supplementation, damage caused by improper programs, risk reduction and others. Fundamental understanding of, and experience in the genomics of longevity (internship analyzing and curating longevity gene papers). Biological and technical includes information technology, software development and computer programming, bioinformatics and protein informatics, online education, training programs, regulatory, clinical trials software, medical devices (CAT scanners and related), hospital electrical equipment testing program. Interpersonal skills – good communication, honest, well liked, works well in teams or alone. Real world experience collaborating in interdisciplinary teams in fast paced organizations. Uses technology to advance our shared mission. Education: MBA 1985 University of Southern California -- Deans List, Albert Quon Community Service Award (for volunteering with the American Longevity Association and helping an elderly lady every other week), George S. May Scholarship, CA State Fellowship. BA psychology, psychobiology emphasis 1983 California State University Fullerton Physiological courses as well as core courses (developmental, abnormal etc). UCLA Psychobiology 1978, one brief but fast moving and fulfilling quarter. Main interest was the electrochemical basis of consciousness. Also seminars at the NeuroPsychiatric Institute. Other: Ongoing conferences, meetings and continuing education. Aging, computer software and information technology. Some molecular biology, biotech, bio and protein informatics, computer aided drug design, clinical medical devices, electronics, HIPAA, fundraising through the Assoc. of Fundraising Professionals. Previous careers include: Marketing Increasing skill set and successes in virtually all phases, with valuable experience in locating people and companies with the greatest need and interest in a product or service, and sitting across the table with decision makers and working out agreements favorable to all. Information Technology: Management, data analysis and programming in commercial and clinical trials systems, and bioinformatics and protein informatics. As IT Director at Newport Beach, CA based technology organization Success Family of Continuing Education Companies, provided online software solutions for insurance and financial professionals in small to Fortune 500 size companies. We were successful with lean team organization (the slower moving competition was unable to create similar software systems). Medical devices: At Omnimedical in Paramount CA developed and managed quality assurance dept. and training depts. for engineers, physicians and technicians. Designed hospital equipment testing program for hospital services division. In my early 20’s I was a musician, and studied psychology and music. Interned with the intention of becoming a music therapist. These experiences helped develop valuable skills used today to advance our shared mission of creating aging solutions.
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