Cardiac Regeneration: New Hope for an Old Dream
The regenerative capacity of the heart has long fascinated scientists. In contrast to other organs such as liver, skin, and skeletal muscle, the heart possesses only a minimal regenerative capacity. It lacks a progenitor cell population, and cardiomyocytes exit the cell cycle shortly after birth and do not re-enter after injury. Thus, any loss of cardiomyocytes is essentially irreversible and can lead to or exaggerate heart failure, which represents a major public health problem. New therapeutic options are urgently needed, but regenerative therapies have remained an unfulfilled promise in cardiovascular medicine until today. Yet, through a clearer comprehension of signaling pathways that regulate the cardiomyocyte cell cycle and advances in stem cell technology, strategies have evolved that demonstrate the potential to generate new myocytes and thereby fulfill an essential central criterion for heart repair.
- Forschungsinformationssystem des UKE