Heart scar tissue can work again with protein injection

Heart scar tissue can work again with protein injection

A heart attack is not only dangerous at the time, it also causes sequelae that can make the patient’s life difficult. Indeed, when a person has a heart attack, his heart will show some kind of permanent scars and won’t be able to pump blood as much. Researchers have studied this phenomenon, and they have found that injecting a certain protein could ‘repair’ scar tissue in the heart.

According to the explanations, scar tissue cannot expand and contract like healthy heart tissue. This means that a heart with this type of tissue will no longer be able to expand and contract optimally. Also, the healthy tissue that remains has to work harder than before, which can lead to a higher risk of problems like arrhythmia or heart failure.

Heart scar tissue can work again with protein injection
Credit 123RF.com

The experiment carried out by the researchers

The new study was led by Dr. Robert Hume from the University of Sydney. Hume and his team of international researchers studied a protein precursor called tropoelastin. It is a substance which is naturally produced by the body, and which in turn produces elastin. The latter gives certain fabrics their elasticity and extensibility.

Scientists injected purified tropoelastin directly into the walls of rat hearts. These rats had suffered from a heart attack 4 days before the injection. The researchers were able to perform the injection using a new technique that consists of guiding the needle precisely using ultrasound.

The obtained results

After a period of 28 daysscientists have noticed that the scars on the rats’ hearts had shrunk and had become softer and more elastic. The tissues even exhibited “similar muscle function to the tissues before the heart attack.” Additionally, in laboratory experiments, it was found that treatment with tropoelastin caused the production of elastin by human cardiac fibroblasts. These are the cells that maintain the structure of the heart.

According to James Chong, associate professor at the University of Sydney and senior author of the study, what they found is very encouraging. They hope to be able to continue to develop the method so that it can eventually be used in a clinical setting. They hope it will be applied to treat and improve the lives of the millions of people around the world who have suffered a heart attack.


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