Researchers at the Hubrecht Institute have described in detail the recovery of the heart after a heart attack. They found that heart muscle cells, called nardiomyocytes, played a role in intracellular communication after a heart attack. The researchers based their findings on a database available to scientists around the world. This brings the research area one step closer to developing therapies for improved recovery from heart injury. The results have been published Biology of communication on January 29.
In the Netherlands, an average of 95 people are hospitalized every day for a heart attack. In a heart attack, the blood supply to a part of the heart is blocked, for example, by a blood clot in a cardiovascular artery. Attempts to restore the blood supply are made as soon as possible, which is known as re-energy. However, some parts of the heart have been deprived of oxygen for some time. Depending on the severity of the heart attack, it can lead to the death of heart muscle cells, also called myocardial infarctions. This can lead to scarring, which is harder than normal heart tissue, making it harder for the heart to contract properly. This can lead to a deterioration in the pumping function of the heart, which can eventually lead to heart failure.
In other words, the idea of heart recovery after a heart attack – how it leads to scar tissue – is extremely important. However, much is still unknown. Quite a reason for researchers in the laboratory of Eva van Rua to study it in the future. They studied how mice ‘hearts recover in three different periods after a heart attack. To do this, they used a single cell sequence, a technique that allows them to study C. RNA individual cells. The researchers created a huge database of information on the role of different types of cells in the recovery process after a heart attack.
Therefore, they used the data to map the communication network. Project researcher Luke Timer explains: “Cells communicate with each other by releasing molecules. These molecules then get to the recipient cell to perform a certain action that may be necessary for the recovery process. We have now described in great detail how different cells interact with each other at different times after a heart attack. It has not been done so thoroughly before. ” This communication network is now documented in a database, accessible to scientists around the world.
Scar tissue formation
Especially after a heart attack, the role of cardiomyocytes in recovery was largely unknown, in part due to technical difficulties. However, another recent paper from Van Rooij Laboratories addressed these barriers, allowing researchers to specifically study the function of cardiovascular cells in the recovery process. “We noticed that in the earliest period measured after a heart attack, cardiomyocytes secreted a large amount of a molecule called B2M. “Further experiments have shown that the secretion of B2M can lead to the activation of so-called fibroblasts, the cells responsible for the formation of scar tissue,” says Timer. Thus, the cardiovascular cells seem to indirectly stimulate the production of scar tissue at the beginning of the recovery process. “Intuitively, we already thought that cardiovascular cells could play a role in intracellular communication during heart regeneration. It is very good that we have now been able to confirm this.”
Improve the recovery process
When asked when further steps are being taken in this area of research, the Team emphasizes the need for additional research. “Different scientists և experts can use this data, which gives us a better idea of the cells և molecules that are involved in the recovery of the heart, the way they communicate with each other. “We hope we can finally improve the recovery process so that people do less damage after a heart attack.”
Reference. “A single cell transcriptomy following an ischemic injury reveals the role of B2M in heart recovery”: Bas Molenaar, Louk T. Timmer, Marjolein Droog, Ilaria Perini, Danielle Versteeg, Lieneke Kooijman, Jantine Monshouwer-Kloots, Hesther de Ruit. Gladka և Eva van Ruay, January 20, 2021 Biology of communication,
DOI: 10.1038 / s42003-020-01636-3:
Eva van Ruay is a group leader at the Hubrecht Institute, Professor of Molecular Cardiology at Utrecht University Medical Center.