London: Damaged hearts
could mend themselves with the help of a method that coaxes stem
cells to develop into cardiac cells, say researchers.
Scientists in China have unearthed a family of molecules that can
transform stem cells into beating heart muscle cells, says a new
Scientists believe the discovery of cardionogen could pave the way
to new treatment for heart disease, reported the Daily Mail,
citing the study published in the Journal of Chemistry and
Tao Zhong, of Fudan University in Shanghai, who led the research,
said: "Despite advances in medicine, management of myocardial
infarction (heart attack) and heart failure remains a major
"Developing therapies that can stimulate heart muscle regeneration
in areas of infarction would have enormous medical impact," he
Researchers tested the molecules on zebrafish, whose transparent
embryos allow scientists to see cells during development.
They found the treatment enlarged the zebrafish heart by
stimulating production of new cardiac muscle cells from stem
cells. The same thing happened in tests on mice. The next step is
to test cardionogen on human cells, said Tao.