Blood supply therapy bid boosted by fresh insights into key cells

June 26, 2019

Therapies to improve recovery after a heart attack could be developed following fresh insights into how key cells are formed.

Scientists have developed a system that allows them to study cells that line the walls of blood vessels, called endothelial cells.

Researchers say the findings shed light on how the cells can be best grown in the lab for use as therapies. They could also help develop drugs to prompt patients' own endothelial cells to regenerate and grow new blood vessels.

Such treatments could potentially help people with heart disease and other conditions that affect the blood supply, such as peripheral vascular disease - a disorder that can lead to the loss of lower limbs.

Endothelial cells are vital to the process of supplying blood to damaged tissue following a heart attack. The team at the University of Edinburgh studied embroyonic stem cells - early stage cells that are not yet developed - and turned them into endothelial cells in the lab.

They used advanced techniques to visualise the genes that are turned on or off in individual cells as they undergo the transition to become endothelial cells.

Understanding these genetic cues sheds new light on the signals that drive endothelial cell formation and maturation. The researchers say this is a step towards developing treatments that could prompt the growth of functioning new blood vessels in patients.

The research was led by the British Heart Foundation Centre for Cardiovascular Science at the University of Edinburgh and is published in the European Heart Journal. It was funded by the Medical Research Council, Wellcome, the European Research Council and the British Heart Foundation.

Professor Andrew Baker, Head of Centre for Cardiovascular Science at the University of Edinburgh, said: "This study used new technology to map how endothelial cells are formed. We can now harness this information to understand how to activate these processes in patients or use these cells as a cell therapy approach by directly injecting them into damaged tissue."
-end-


University of Edinburgh

Related Heart Attack Articles from Brightsurf:

Top Science Tip Sheet on heart failure, heart muscle cells, heart attack and atrial fibrillation results
Newly discovered pathway may have potential for treating heart failure - New research model helps predict heart muscle cells' impact on heart function after injury - New mass spectrometry approach generates libraries of glycans in human heart tissue - Understanding heart damage after heart attack and treatment may provide clues for prevention - Understanding atrial fibrillation's effects on heart cells may help find treatments - New research may lead to therapy for heart failure caused by ICI cancer medication

Molecular imaging identifies link between heart and kidney inflammation after heart attack
Whole body positron emission tomography (PET) has, for the first time, illustrated the existence of inter-organ communication between the heart and kidneys via the immune system following acute myocardial infarction.

Muscle protein abundant in the heart plays key role in blood clotting during heart attack
A prevalent heart protein known as cardiac myosin, which is released into the body when a person suffers a heart attack, can cause blood to thicken or clot--worsening damage to heart tissue, a new study shows.

New target identified for repairing the heart after heart attack
An immune cell is shown for the first time to be involved in creating the scar that repairs the heart after damage.

Heart cells respond to heart attack and increase the chance of survival
The heart of humans and mice does not completely recover after a heart attack.

A simple method to improve heart-attack repair using stem cell-derived heart muscle cells
The heart cannot regenerate muscle after a heart attack, and this can lead to lethal heart failure.

Mount Sinai discovers placental stem cells that can regenerate heart after heart attack
Study identifies new stem cell type that can significantly improve cardiac function.

Fixing a broken heart: Exploring new ways to heal damage after a heart attack
The days immediately following a heart attack are critical for survivors' longevity and long-term healing of tissue.

Heart patch could limit muscle damage in heart attack aftermath
Guided by computer simulations, an international team of researchers has developed an adhesive patch that can provide support for damaged heart tissue, potentially reducing the stretching of heart muscle that's common after a heart attack.

How the heart sends an SOS signal to bone marrow cells after a heart attack
Exosomes are key to the SOS signal that the heart muscle sends out after a heart attack.

Read More: Heart Attack News and Heart Attack Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.