Molecule That Can Help The Heart Repair Itself
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discoverd a protein that can initiate the repair of heart cells and blood vessel growth after a heart attack.
The molecule, Thymosin beta-4, is expressed by embryos during the heart's development and encourages migration of heart cells. Scientitsts have used the molecule experimentally in mice, and it can begin to take action as early as 24 hours after injection. An examination of the capillary smooth muscle cells three days later showed a significant increase in capillary density near the site of the heart attack.
Further studies are needed to determine whether the same success will occur in larger animals.