Researchers in Australia have identified a zebrafish gene that can regenerate damaged heart muscle. The team shared their discovery with Science, believes that this gene could help people repair their own heart muscles after a heart attack.
Kazu Kikuchi, Ph.D. Med., Who leads the research at the Victor Chang Heart Research Institute (VCCRI) in Sydney, explained in detail why this could be such a crucial discovery for the future of cardiac care.
“Our research has identified a secret switch that allows heart muscle cells to divide and multiply after the heart is injured. It starts when needed and shuts off when the heart heals completely, ”he said in a prepared statement. “In people where damaged and scarred heart muscle can’t replace themselves, this could change the game.”
Zebrafish shares more than 70% of all human genes, Kikuchi added, and those similarities suggest that “it can save many, many lives and lead to new drug development.”
Bob Graham, Ph.D. Med., Head of the Department of Molecular Cardiology and Biophysics VCCRI, elaborated on the potential of this discovery in the same statement.