New Study Doubts Mammal Heart Regeneration
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – The mammalian heart has generally been considered to lack the ability to repair itself after surgery. However, a 2011 study provided evidence for complete regeneration after resection of the apex of hearts in mice. In a new study researchers tried to replicate these recent findings but failed to uncover evidence of complete regeneration.
For the study, researchers looked for factors that enable heart regeneration, but found no signs of true regeneration in mice that underwent apex resection. Three weeks after the procedure, the damaged hearts were 10 percent shorter and weighed 14 percent less than the hearts of control mice that underwent the same procedure without apex resection.
“Our results question the usefulness of the apex resection model for identifying molecular mechanisms underlying heart regeneration after damage and underscore the need for the scientific community to firmly establish whether or not the mammalian heart is capable of regeneration,” lead study author Ditte Andersen, of Odense University Hospital and the University of Southern Denmark, was quoted as saying. “We hope that our study will add another view on this important matter and spur a lot of studies from other independent labs that may shed further light on this controversial area of research.”
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SOURCE: Cell Press, April 2014