Is there a cure for an achy breaky heart?
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.
Inquiring romance novelists want to know – how do you mend a broken heart? Or at least – a SCARRED heart?
Scarring of heart tissue is a common symptom of heart disease. So for a healthy ticker – those scars gotta go!
Joel Rurik and team at the University of Pennsylvania have the answer!
T cells are a type of immune cell that focuses on foreign particles. Scientists temporarily reprogrammed the T cells. Their NEW marching orders? To SEEK and DESTROY heart scarring! Over time, the scarred cells will be eliminated.
They tested the technique on mice with scarred hearts.
Results? Two weeks after treatment, mice had less scarring and better heart function! Some of their heart functions almost returned to levels before the heart injury.
The researchers believe this treatment could also apply to scarring in kidneys or lungs.
Of course, a dozen roses might also work in a pinch. Does insurance cover those?
Reference: Rurik, J. G., Tombácz, I., Yadegari, A., Fernández, P. O. M., Shewale, S. V., Li, L., Kimura, T., Soliman, O. Y., Papp, T. E., Tam, Y. K., Mui, B. L., Albelda, S. M., Puré, E., June, C. H., Aghajanian, H., Weissman, D., Parhiz, H., & Epstein, J. A. (2022). CAR T cells produced in vivo to treat cardiac injury. Science. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abm0594
Photo credit: image from referenced article