View Full Version : Instructing scar tissue to change itself into healthy tissue

01-07-2013, 02:25 PM
Fight Aging! Newsletter, January 7th 2013

A cocktail of three specific genes can reprogram cells in the scars
caused by heart attacks into functioning muscle cells, and the
addition of a gene that stimulates the growth of blood vessels
enhances that effect. "The idea of reprogramming scar tissue in the
heart into functioning heart muscle was exciting. The theory is that
if you have a big heart attack, your doctor can just inject these
three genes into the scar tissue during surgery and change it back
into heart muscle."

Changing the scar into heart muscle would strengthen the heart. To
accomplish this, during surgery, [researchers] transferred three forms
of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene that enhances
blood vessel growth or an inactive material (both attached to a gene
vector) into the hearts of rats. Three weeks later, the rats received
either Gata4, Mef 2c and Tbx5 (the cocktail of transcription factor
genes called GMT) or an inactive material.

The GMT genes alone reduced the amount of scar tissue by half compared
to animals that did not receive the genes, and there were more heart
muscle cells in the animals that were treated with GMT. The hearts of
animals that received GMT alone also worked better as defined by
ejection fraction than those who had not received genes. [The] hearts
of the animals that had received both the GMT and the VEGF gene
transfers had an ejection fraction four times greater than that of the
animals that had received only the GMT transfer.