Navigation Links
Study shows that human hearts generate new cells after birth
Date:1/10/2013

Boston, Mass. Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have found, for the first time that young humans (infants, children and adolescents) are capable of generating new heart muscle cells. These findings refute the long-held belief that the human heart grows after birth exclusively by enlargement of existing cells, and raise the possibility that scientists could stimulate production of new cells to repair injured hearts.

Findings of the study, "Cardiomyocyte proliferation contributes to post-natal heart growth in young humans," were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Online Early Edition, the week of Jan 7-Jan 11, 2013. The study was led by Bernhard Khn, MD, of the Department of Cardiology at Boston Children's.

Beginning in 2009, Dr. Khn and his team looked at specimens from healthy human hearts, ranging in age from 0 to 59 years. Using several laboratory assays, they documented that cells in these hearts were still dividing after birth, significantly expanding the heart cell population. The cells regenerated at their highest rates during infancy. Regeneration declined after infancy, rose during the adolescent growth spurt, and continued up until around age 20.

The findings offer the strongest evidence to date that proliferation of cardiomyocytes (the cells making up heart muscle) contributes to growth in healthy young human hearts.

"For more than 100 years," Khn says, "people have been debating whether human heart muscle cells are generated after birth or whether they simply grow larger." Khn points out that research in the 1930s and 1940s suggested that cardiomyocyte division may continue after birth, and recent reports about myocardial regeneration in zebrafish and neonatal mice suggest that some young animals regenerate heart muscle by using mechanisms of muscle cell division. Still, for many years, the accepted belief in the scientific community was that human hearts grow after birth only because cells grow larger.

Khn's work challenges the accepted wisdom and offers hope for new treatments for heart failure. Babies and children may be able to increase heart muscle cell proliferation and regenerate damaged parts of their heart muscle. In addition, the study points to new research directions by suggesting that abnormal cardiomyocyte proliferation may be involved in diseases of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy) that affect young humans, and that cardiomyocyte proliferation could be stimulated in young humans for the treatment of heart failure.

The findings, according to Khn, help to create a "cellular blueprint for how the human heart grows after birth." Using this blueprint, treatment strategies could be developed to treat heart failure in children


'/>"/>

Contact: Rob Graham
rob.graham@childrens.harvard.edu
617-919-3110
Boston Children's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Brown Eyes Beat Blue Ones for Trustworthiness: Study
2. IUD Might Ease Heavy Menstrual Bleeding, Study Suggests
3. Pap Test Could Spot Some Ovarian Cancers, Study Finds
4. Many U.S. Teens at Risk for Suicide Despite Treatment: Study
5. Hispanics leery of health care providers, often avoid cancer screenings, Moffitt study shows
6. Passive smoking increases risk of severe dementia, according to study in China
7. NTU study looks at national attitudes towards homosexuals
8. Brief Life Expectancy Should Rule Out Certain Cancer Screenings: Study
9. High BPA Levels in Kids Linked to Risk for Heart, Kidney Damage: Study
10. Vitamin D Doesnt Improve Knee Arthritis, Study Finds
11. Diet Drinks Tied to Depression Risk in Older Adults: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Better education to coaches and parents ... work today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’ s ... to prospectively document the association between sports specialization and lower extremity injuries in ...
(Date:7/23/2017)... ... July 23, 2017 , ... “Squiggy’s Outdoor Adventure”: a turtle’s backyard ... the creation of published author, Paula Christian, a wife and mother to three amazing, ... family, who center their lives on God. She loves to tell stories to ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... , ... "As a doctor of lung medicine managing chest diseases for more ... said an inventor from Center Valley, Pa. "My idea is to improve the device ... the patent-pending PLEURAL SAFE-t-STAT CATHETER KIT to offer an efficient means of draining pleural ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... The Karen Miller Agency, a ... in the greater Birmingham area, is joining the Chris Hammond Youth Foundation in ... the region. , The Chris Hammond Youth Foundation maintains athletic facilities in rural ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... Bernard R. Bach, Jr., MD, orthopaedic surgeon at ... Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine (AOSSM) , received the 2017 Robert E. Leach Sports ... Toronto, Canada. This prestigious award is given annually to honor those who have made ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/14/2017)... 13, 2017 It should come as no surprise ... is in the midst of a crippling opioid epidemic. According ... the number of overdose deaths from opiate-based medications has quadrupled, ... a million dead from 2001 to 2015". During this time, ... has similarly quadrupled, drawing a compelling link between prescription and ...
(Date:7/13/2017)... 2017 RK Logistics Group, Inc. was awarded ... its Fremont, CA headquarters facility where ... and San Jose for hi-tech, pharmaceutical ... , with its Fremont Innovation District, is excited to ... powerful resource to the hundreds of biotech, pharma and biomed ...
(Date:7/12/2017)... -- CarpalAID is a revolutionary new product that relieves painful carpal ... tunnel syndrome affects more than 8 million people a year. Women ... The common methods of treating CTS are painful surgery, the use ... gloves. ... CarpalAID is a clear patch worn on the palm of the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: