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How fish mend a broken heart

last growth factor" (Fgf) signals. Fgf signals are known for their ability to encourage invasive cell behavior, Poss explained.

Indeed, they found, heart muscle cells produce the growth factor, while epicardial cells harbor receptors that are triggered by the signal. When the researchers experimentally blocked the Fgf signal, heart regeneration failed.

"It is tempting to speculate that the ability to mobilize epicardial cells and cultivate such a cardiogenic environment is a primary reason why zebrafish, as opposed to other laboratory models, effectively regenerate [heart muscle]," the researchers concluded. Indeed, they added, mammalian hearts typically show insufficient blood vessel growth after a heart attack.

"Experimental attempts to modify this deficiency are underway, including delivery of growth factors or bone marrow-derived cells that may promote [the formation of new blood vessels]…Success in these pursuits or by directly utilizing epicardial cells or their progenitors could prove favorable for encouraging regeneration from mammalian cardiac progenitor cells."


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Source:Cell Press


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