When a part of a fish heart is removed, the zebrafish appears normal
within a month.
Researchers know that zebrafish simply regrows cardiac tissue, after
losing it. The fish is a great model to discover other ways to repair
Such interesting heart repair is achieved by differentiated cardiac
muscle cells, or cardiomyocytes—mature cells that supply contractile
force of the heart.
Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in the Gene Expression
Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California,
stated that there is only one way to regenerate tissues and organs—
pluripotent stem cells.
Chris Jopling, a doctor of the Center of Regenerative Medicine in
Barcelona, Spain, said: "During heart regeneration in the zebrafish we
found that cardiomyocytes displayed structural changes similar to
those observed in hibernating cardiomyocytes." The sientists
hypothesize that hibernating mammalian cardiomyocytes might represent
cells that are attempting to proliferate.
Other groups were also investigated—forced expression of cell cycle
regulators can induce cardiomyocyte proliferation in mammals.
Scientists need more time to make some steps ahead.