New Insights Into the Development of Heart Disease Therapeutics


Source: University of Helsinki

Summary: Researchers investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying myocardial regenerative ability. Advantages could be the development of novel treatments for patients to regain heart function after myocardial infarction.


One major problem in the treatment of heart disease is the inability of adult myocardial cells to regenerate. Thus, tissue damaged by, for example, myocardial infarction is not revived. New approaches for developing novel treatments are being sought to help patients regain heart function after myocardial infarction. During the first days of life, the heart of a newborn mouse adapts to entirely new physiological conditions, larger volume loads and an increased energy demand. As a result, fundamental changes occur in the heart. Studies have shown that the heart of neonate mouse retains its ability to effectively repair tissue damage. This ability of the cardiac muscle to regenerate, however, gradually disappears during the first week of life. Researchers from the University of Helsinki investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying myocardial regenerative ability. The study findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology.

Myocardial infarction

Researchers Daria Blokhina, Esko Kankuri, Päivi Lakkisto, Maciej Lalowski, Rabah Soliymani, and Eero Mervaala. Credit: University of Helsinki

A research collaboration investigates the molecular mechanisms underlying myocardial regenerative ability. Research groups have recently published an analysis that combined three different systems-level methods on mechanisms associated with the loss of regenerative ability of the heart soon after birth. They used a large scale analytical platforms approach combining RNA sequencing, quantitative proteomics and metabolomics as well as bioinformatics to characterize the events initiated in the hearts of newborn mice during the first week after birth. Fructose-induced glycolysis was a key factor for myocardial regenerative ability, an activity associated with an increased proliferation of cardiac muscle cells during the first days after birth.

Docent Maciej Lalowski said, “These results also help us to understand the mechanisms of the human heart disease and what molecular factors affect myocardial regeneration. Understanding these mechanisms can open up possibilities for developing new types of treatments.”


More Information: Maciej M. Lalowski et al, “Characterizing the Key Metabolic Pathways of the Neonatal Mouse Heart Using a Quantitative Combinatorial Omics Approach”, Frontiers in Physiology (2018). DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00365 


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