Could Newborn Heart Stem Cells Jump-Start Old Hearts?

Could Newborn Heart Stem Cells Jump-Start Old Hearts?

Stem cells from young hearts might breathe new life into aging ones, research in rats suggests.

Mental Health Does Not Come With A Manual, It Comes With Friends & Family Support That Never Gives Up!
Join now

In the study, a special type of stem cells was taken from the hearts of newborn rats and injected into the hearts of old rats, average age 22 months. Other rats from the same age group were given saline shots instead.

Baseline heart function was measured in all the rats, using echocardiograms, treadmill stress tests and blood analysis. The group of older rats underwent an additional round of testing one month after receiving the stem cells from the hearts of the young rats.

The old rats who were given stem cells showed better heart function, a 20 percent increase in exercise capacity and, oddly enough, an improved ability to regrow hair.

"Our previous lab studies and human clinical trials have shown promise in treating heart failure using cardiac [heart] stem cell infusions," said co-primary investigator Dr. Eduardo Marban, director of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Heart Institute in Los Angeles.

"Now we find that these specialized stem cells could turn out to reverse problems associated with aging of the heart," he said in an institute news release.

"The way the cells work to reverse aging is fascinating," Marban added. "They secrete tiny vesicles that are chock-full of signaling molecules such as RNA and proteins. The vesicles from young cells appear to contain all the needed instructions to turn back the clock."

But more research is needed, the investigators said.

"This study didn't measure whether receiving the [specialized] cells extended life spans, so we have a lot more work to do," added co-primary investigator Dr. Lilian Grigorian-Shamagian. She is a postdoctoral researcher at Cedars-Sinai.

The Internet's Most Trusted Source For Mental Health Information
Sign up

"We have much to study, including whether [heart stem cells] need to come from a young donor to have the same rejuvenating effects," Grigorian-Shamagian explained.

The findings were published Aug. 14 in the European Heart Journal.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers a guide to a healthy heart.


Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


Related Content

Addiction To Cocaine Sees Promising Cure In Near Future In Preventing Overdose
Addiction To Cocaine Sees Promising Cure In Near Future In Preventing Overdose

A radical gene therapy for drug addiction has been shown to dampen down cravings...

Read more
How Therapy Dogs Are Providing Significant Benefits To Children With ADHD
How Therapy Dogs Are Providing Significant Benefits To Children With ADHD

For children struggling with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), vi...

Read more
The 4 Mistakes People With Anxiety Make & How To Prevent Them From Happening
The 4 Mistakes People With Anxiety Make & How To Prevent Them From Happening

I recently wrote a well-received post about five mistakes that people with depre...

Read more
Did You Know That 20% Autism Patients Were ALSO Diagnosed With Depression?
Did You Know That 20% Autism Patients Were ALSO Diagnosed With Depression?

Almost 20% of young people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) also were diagnos...

Read more
Is There Anyone Else Out There With Bipolar Disorder & OCD Symptoms?
Is There Anyone Else Out There With Bipolar Disorder & OCD Symptoms?

It's not at all uncommon that I hear obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms as part ...

Read more
Signs Your Parent May Actually Have A Personality Disorder & How To...
Signs Your Parent May Actually Have A Personality Disorder & How To...

Have you always struggled in your relationship with your parent? Maybe your rela...

Read more