New research reveals how the heart repairs after a heart attack

According to a study by the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and the Northwestern University Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute, the immune response and lymphatic system are central to heart repair after a heart attack. These insights into the basic mechanisms of cardiac repair are the first step towards developing novel therapeutic approaches to preserve cardiac function. The findings were published in Journal of Clinical Investigation,

“We found that macrophages, or immune cells that go into the heart after a heart attack to ‘eat’ damaged or dead tissue, also induce vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGFC) which is responsible for the formation of new lymphatic vessels. triggers formation and promotes healing,” said co-senior author Edward Thorpe, PhD, from Lurie Children’s Heart Center and associate professor of pathology and pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Our challenge now is to find a way to persuade these macrophages to administer VEGFCs or induce more VEGFCs to trigger the heart repair process.”

People who have had a heart attack have a higher risk of heart failure, even despite advances in drugs to reduce mortality. This is partly because some of the macrophages that arrive at the site of damage are proinflammatory and do not induce VEGFC.

“It’s a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde scenario, with ‘good’ macrophages that induce VEGFC and ‘bad’ ones that don’t. We need to prevent the ‘bad’ macrophages from causing further damage,” co- said senior author Guillermo Oliver, PhD, director of the Feinberg Cardiovascular and Renal Research Institute – Center for Vascular and Developmental Biology, and professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School. of medicine. “We are working to understand more about the progression of heart failure after a heart attack, in order to intervene early and reset the course for heart repair.”

Research is conducted through the Stanley Mane Children’s Research Institute at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. Manne Research Institute is focused on improving child health, transforming pediatric medicine and ensuring a healthier future through the relentless pursuit of knowledge. Lurie Children’s is ranked as one of the top children’s hospitals in the country US News and World Report. It is the pediatric training ground for the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

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Material provided by Chicago’s Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Note: Content can be edited for style and length.

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