Saturday , June 10 2023

The Mexican fish able to repair their hearts offers hope to patients with heart disease


Scientists at the University of Oxford have investigated a Mexican fish capable of regenerating its heart and discovered that the gene that makes it possible to have extraordinary human capacity. The results of the new study, published in the journal Cell Reports, offer hope for positive changes in the lives of patients who have had heart attacks, the researchers say.

To reach this conclusion, the team of scientists – led by Professor Mathilda Mommersteeg – studied two types of Mexican tetra mexican. Astyanax mexicanus, who lives in rivers and shows a beautiful color, can heal its own heart, while the second subspecies, which inhabits the waters of the cave of Pachón and is known as "tetra tetra", not only lost its color and vision, characteristics that do not serve it in the darkness of the cave, but it no longer has the ability to regenerate the tissue of the heart.

In the study, the researchers They compared the genetic profiles of the two types of tetra fish and identified three areas in their genome that are relevant for the ability to regenerate damaged heart tissue.

Then, after comparing the behavior of these genes in the tetra and tetrapede after cardiac damage, the scientists found that only the first two genes increased activity, lrrc10 (also present in humans) and caveolin.

Previous studies in mice have also shown that lrrc10 is associated with a cardiac condition called dilatation cardiomyopathy, in which the heart becomes excessively enlarged and unable to pump blood properly. The results of the subsequent studies suggested that lrrc10 plays a key role in contraction and expansion of heart cells.

To confirm that this gene is also involved in the regeneration of damaged cardiac tissue, the researchers of the new study have turned to zebrafish, another freshwater species that, like the tetra tether, also has the ability to regenerate heart tissue . if necessary. Scientists have blocked the expression of the lrrc10 gene in zebrafish, rendering them incapable of effectively repairing cardiac lesions.

In the future, the research team hopes to learn more about the mechanisms of recovery of this tissue and to use this knowledge in people who have problems with this organ, such as heart failure.

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