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Genetic Engineering

Engineered Bone Marrow Cells Repair Heart Attack Damage

20 years, 5 months ago

9501  0
Posted on Aug 31, 2003, 7 a.m. By Bill Freeman

US researchers have shown that bone marrow cells can repair tissue-damage caused by a heart attack. Dr Victor Dzau and colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston worked with bone marrow cells called mesenchymal stem cells. Theoretically, these cells should be able to repair damaged heart tissue, however previous attempts have failed so far.

US researchers have shown that bone marrow cells can repair tissue-damage caused by a heart attack. Dr Victor Dzau and colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston worked with bone marrow cells called mesenchymal stem cells. Theoretically, these cells should be able to repair damaged heart tissue, however previous attempts have failed so far. In an attempt to overcome this problem Dzau genetically engineered the cells by adding a gene called Akt1, which helps to make cells stronger and thus more likely to survive. According to Dzau, the results were "truly remarkable," and that the transplanted cells exhibited "an amazing amount of reparative growth." Tests on rats revealed that the genetically engineered cells restored the heart's pumping capacity to 80-90% of normal. The researchers believe that the technique "holds immense promise" for use in humans.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.reutershealth.com on the 11th August 2003.

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