a Mexican fish, tetra (Astyanax Mexicanus) may have "a secret that will help treat heart disease: can fix your heart after damage without leaving scars, something that researchers have been trying to achieve in people for years.
About 1.5 million years ago, the tetanus (Astyanax Mexicanus) living in the rivers of northern Mexico was periodically washed in caves with seasonal floods. Over time, the floods became less frequent and finally stopped. This created the perfect environment for different members of the same species to adapt and develop to adapt to their different habitats: the river and the caves.
This fish has a gene called lrrc10, which may be the key to the remarkable self-healing ability of this fish, suggests a new study funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) published in Cell Reports.
Dr. Matilda Mommersteeg and her team at Oxford University compare the genetic code of the fish fish with that of the blind fish in the cave to find out what special mechanisms are needed to heart repairThey found that three areas of the fish genome had been implicated in the ability of fish to repair their hearts.
Researchers also compare the activity of genes in the river against the fish in the cave in the post-heart failure period. Two genes, lrrc10 and caveolina, they were much more active in river fish and could be key to resolving river fish to correct their hearts.
Lrrc10 is already associated with a heart condition called enlarged cardiomyopathy (DCM) in humans. Studies in mice have previously shown that this gene is implicated in the way the heart cells collapse at each rhythm.
Researchers continue to study the effect of this gene on zebra, another fish that has the remarkable ability to heal its own heart. When the team inactivates the gene lrrc10 in zebras, they saw that the fish could no longer completely repairing their hearts.
Heart failure is often the result of a heart attack. During a heart attack, the heart is devoid of oxygen, leading to the death of heart muscle cells and their replacement with scars. This prevents proper contraction of the heart muscle and reduces the ability of the heart to pump the blood around the body.
People with heart failure can not regenerate their damaged hearts and often the only treatment is heart transplant. Researchers hope that by revealing the secrets of these extraordinary fish, one day we can heal the human hearts the same way.
Professor Metin Aqvaran, Associate Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation, said: "These remarkable discoveries show how much remains to be learned from the rich tapestry of the natural world." Especially interesting is that the ability of fish to restore their hearts can occur. of the ability to suppress the formation of a scar, we must now determine whether we can use similar mechanisms repairing damaged human hearts.
Survival of heart failure has barely changed over the last 20 years, and life expectancy is worse than many cancers. Desperate advances are needed to alleviate the devastation caused by this terrible state. "
Dr. Matilda Mommersteeg, an associate professor of regenerative and developing medicine at the University of Oxford, who runs the study, says: "A real challenge so far has been to compare cardiac damage and fish repair with what we see in humans. the fish cave together, we have succeeded in removing the genes responsible for the recovery of the heart.
"Best of all, heart failure This is a cruel and debilitating disease with more than half a million people living in the United Kingdom. It is early, but we are extremely excited about these unusual fish and the potential to change the lives of people with damaged hearts. "
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