Cells in coronary arteries can regenerate heart tissue

Endothelial cells in coronary arteries can perform the function of cardiac stem cells and differentiate to form new heart muscle tissue. This is actually what scientists from Vanderbilt University, USA have found.

According to the researchers who conducted the study, it has long been believed that the heart is an organ without regenerative potential. And people have thought that our heart does not change and its tissue is the same throughout our lives .

However, recent scientific research has disproved this claim and found that new heart muscle cells regenerate more slowly, suggesting the presence of cardiac stem cells.

But their source is unknown.

The scientists who made the discovery believe that endothelial cells in the outer layer of blood vessels may have the potential to generate new heart cells. They also point out that endothelial cells can give rise to other types of cells, including blood cells, during intrauterine development.

Mice studies have shown that endothelial cells in coronary arteries form new heart muscle cells in a healthy heart.

Scientists have discovered that two types of cardiac stem cells in the coronary arteries – a latent cell population in the medial layer and a proliferative population in the adventitial /outer/ layer.

According to the scientists who made the discovery, there are populations of cardiac stem cells in the coronary arteries and this will have significant implications for society.

And ischemic heart disease is among the leading causes of death in Europe, and the discovery will have a revolutionary impact on the ways to treat this disease.

Vanderbilt University researchers also note that they found during their study that coronary heart disease can lead to heart failure, not only by blocking the arteries and causing a heart attack, but also by affecting the way the heart is maintained and regenerated.

The present study is actually an extension of a previous study conducted by the same team of scientists, which found that after a heart attack, endothelial cells form the fibroblasts that generate the dysfunctional fibrous tissue.

As this process resembles the function of the endothelial system, which generates the myocytes /muscle cells/ during homeostasis and then the formation of connective tissue is activated. After the damage to the heart tissue due to lack of blood supply, the regeneration process turns into fibrosis.

If scientists manage to find out what activates these processes, it will be possible to confirm and officially adopt a way with drugs or other substances to restore the regeneration process and the formation of new heart muscle tissue after heart attack, aging or medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

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