In a world first, scientists have found a new way to direct stem cells to heart tissue. The findings, led by researchers at the University of Bristol and published in Chemical Science, could radically improve the treatment for cardiovascular disease, which causes more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK.
To date, trials using stem cells, which are taken and grown from the patient or donor and injected into the patient’s heart to regenerate damaged tissue, have produced promising results.
However, while these next generation cell therapies are on the horizon, significant challenges associated with the distribution of the stem cells have remained. High blood flow in the heart combined with various ’tissue sinks’, that circulating cells come into contact with, means the majority of the stem cells end up in the lungs and spleen.
Now, researchers from Bristol’s School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine have found a way to overcome this by modifying stem cells with a special protein so they ‘home’ to heart tissue.
Dr Adam Perriman, the study’s lead author, Associate Professor in Biomaterials, UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and founder of the cell therapy technology company CytoSeek, explained: “With regenerative cell therapies, where you are trying to treat someone after a heart attack, the cells rarely go to where you want them to go. Our aim is to use this technology to re-engineer the membrane of cells, so that when they’re injected, they’ll home to specific tissues of our choice.
“We know that some bacterial cells contain properties that enable them to detect and ‘home’ to diseased tissue. For example, the oral bacterial found in our mouths can occasionally cause strep throat. If it enters the blood stream it can ‘home’ to damaged tissue in the heart causing infective endocarditis. Our aim was to replicate the homing ability of bacteria cells and apply it to stem cells.”
The team developed the technology by looking at how bacterial cells use a protein called an adhesin to ‘home’ to heart tissue. Using this theory, the researchers were able to produce an artificial cell membrane binding version of the adhesin that could be ‘painted’ on the outside of the stem cells. In an animal model, the team were able to demonstrate that this new cell modification technique worked by directing stem cells to the heart in a mouse.
Dr Perriman added: “Our findings demonstrate that the cardiac homing properties of infectious bacteria can be transferred to human stem cells. Significantly, we show in a mouse model that the designer adhesin protein spontaneously inserts into the plasma membrane of the stem cells with no cytotoxity, and then directs the modified cells to the heart after transplant. To our knowledge, this is the first time that the targeting properties of infectious bacteria have been transferred to mammalian cells.
“This new technique carries enormous potential for the seven million people currently living with heart disease in the UK.”
Learn more: Scientists hijack bacteria’s homing ability
The Latest on: Cardiovascular disease
via Google News
The Latest on: Cardiovascular disease
- Public Enemy’s Keith Shocklee Sounds the Alarm on Heart Health After Heart Attackon February 27, 2020 at 2:57 pm
He believed he had the energy and appearance of a man in his late thirties — not in his fifties. Because he had none of the warning signs for heart disease, he didn’t think anything of an odd ...
- Medical examiner: Christopher Young died of heart diseaseon February 27, 2020 at 10:51 am
PROVIDENCE ― Political candidate Christopher Young, whom state police said died Tuesday in a crash on Route 95 in Cranston, died of heart disease, the medical examiner’s office said Thursday. “The ...
- Heart Failure Risk With Liver Disease May Be Explained by Obesityon February 27, 2020 at 6:29 am
The excess weight that causes fatty liver disease also raises a person's risk for heart failure, a recent study suggests. While non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has long been linked to heart ...
- Menopause age not associated with heart disease finds studyon February 27, 2020 at 5:02 am
There has been conflicting evidence regarding early menopause and an increased risk for heart disease among women. This connection has been attributed to the lowering of female hormone estrogen levels ...
- Cardiovascular Disease Risk Increased by Sugary Drinks, Linked to Lipid Imbalanceon February 27, 2020 at 5:00 am
A prospective study in middle-aged and older adults has linked consumption of even modest daily amounts of sugary drinks with adverse changes in lipid concentrations that represent risk factors for ...
- First Lady Elee Reeves brings awareness to heart disease at Governor’s Mansionon February 26, 2020 at 5:55 pm
First Lady Elee Reeves held her first official press conference to bring awareness to heart disease and the risks to women in Mississippi.
- Bringing awareness to Heart Diseaseon February 26, 2020 at 4:30 pm
In her first official press conference, Mississippi First Lady Elee Reeves is bringing awareness to heart disease and the risks to women in our state. Joining American Heart Association staff and ...
- Sugary sodas linked to risk factors for heart disease, strokeon February 26, 2020 at 12:39 pm
Sugar-sweetened drinks can play havoc with your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, a new study finds. Specifically, drinking more than 12 ...
- Cardiovascular Disease Is The Leading Cause Of Death Among Women In Coloradoon February 26, 2020 at 10:35 am
In Colorado, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among women. In the United States, heart disease kills a woman every 76 seconds.
- Heart disease in women: How pregnancy, menopause, and more affect riskon February 26, 2020 at 6:06 am
And when men have heart attacks, they have chest pain due to blockages in heart arteries. Doctors are now learning how different heart attacks and heart disease can be in men and women. We spoke with ...
via Bing News