Research ArticleCardiology

Cyclin A2 Induces Cardiac Regeneration After Myocardial Infarction Through Cytokinesis of Adult Cardiomyocytes

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Science Translational Medicine  19 Feb 2014:
Vol. 6, Issue 224, pp. 224ra27
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3007668

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A Change of Heart After Myocardial Infarction

When blood flow is blocked off to the heart, the heart suffers permanent damage in part because cardiomyocytes are terminally differentiated and cannot proliferate. But what if these cells could be stimulated to divide? Some animals—like newts—have the ability to regenerate body parts when they are injured. Others—like zebrafish—can even regenerate heart tissue. Now, Shapiro et al. report that gene therapy can elicit a regenerative response in pig hearts.

Cyclin A2 (Ccna2) has been shown to induce cardiac repair in small-animal models after myocardial infarction (MI). The authors have extended these studies by looking in the more translationally relevant pig model of MI. They found that Ccna2 delivered by an adenovirus improved heart function when compared with an adenoviral control. Cardiomyocytes in the pigs showed evidence of increased proliferation. If these data hold true in human studies, patients with MI can take heart.

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