Heart attack and its cause
A heart attack is a terrifying experience and is still one of the main causes of death. It is also called Myocardial infarction. Federal Statistical Office estimated that more than 49,00 people died of heart attack. But what surprising is, compared to the early 1990s that death rate after a heart attack has greatly decreased over the past decades. This is mainly due to current advances in the research field.
During a heart attack, heart muscle gets damage due to loss of blood supply which leads to the death of a segment of the heart muscle. This death of cardiac muscle tissue leaves less or more scarring.
In previous studies, researchers tried to substitute the destroyed tissue by adequately functioning cardiac muscle using stem cells. but as expected by the researchers, it has not been as successful.
A new research led by the scientists at the University of Würzburg (JMU) have discovered a novel approach for the treatment of heart attack.
The research team was led by Professor Süleyman Ergün, head of the Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the JMU and study got published the results of their work in the journal Circulation Research
The New Findings
During their study, researchers discovered a special type of stem cells present in vascular walls and that became a center of the study.
Researchers demonstrated the presence of special stem cells in human vascular walls. It is for the first time that these stem cells were shown. These stem cells have the ability to develop into beating cardiac muscle cells under culture conditions.
These newly discovered “vascular wall-resident stem cells” are also present in the walls of coronary vessels. these stem cells activates to respond when a heart attack happens.
The problem so far was that in the event of an infarction these stem cells had no chance to develop into cardiac muscle cells as desired: “Our studies have shown that these cells are integrated into the scar tissue and thus lose their ability to transform into cardiac muscle cells,” explains the scientist. Nevertheless, the results give cause for hope: “Our results provide a new approach, in that it may be possible to therapeutically manipulate the behavior of the stem cells in the intracardiac vascular walls so that they are stimulated into regenerating the destroyed cardiac muscle tissue” says Dr. Ergün.
Future aspect of the study
Therapists suggest that this newly discovered stem cells from the intracardiac blood vessels timely and therapeutically controlled, it can be a huge advancement in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, it can also help in reducing the therapeutic cost of these disease treatment.
However, the scientists’ findings are still limited to studies on experimental animals and in the lab. Further studies are therefore required to deepen the findings obtained before they can be used on humans.