Gene therapy repairs post-heart attack damage in pigs

A form of genetic therapy utilizing microRNA resulted in near-total recovery of cardiac function in several pigs within one month of a heart attack, according to a recent study published in Nature.

Researchers at King's College London delivered a small piece of human genetic material, microRNA-199, to the hearts of pigs that had experienced myocardial infarction. While heart attacks typically cause permanent structural damage to the heart, one month later, the therapy had induced heart cells to regenerate enough to achieve almost a full recovery.

This study marks the first time that cardiac regeneration has been proven to be possible in large animals, indicating the potential for human cardiac regeneration; past studies have been successful only in repairing the hearts of small animals such as mice.

That said, the researchers still have work to do before administering the genetic therapy to humans, since many of the pigs eventually experienced sudden arrhythmic death due to inaccurate dosage of the microRNA.

More articles about health IT:
Google's 5 latest health-related job openings
70% of healthcare organizations say IT industry is destined for the cloud
Boosting data analytics efficiency in the OR: 3 insights

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

 

Featured Content

Featured Webinars

Featured Whitepapers