By transforming human scar cells into blood vessel cells, scientists at Houston Methodist may have discovered a new way to repair damaged tissue. The method, described in an upcoming issue ofCirculation, appeared to improve blood flow, oxygenation, and nutrition to areas in need.
Cardiovascular scientists at Houston Methodist, with colleagues at Stanford University and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, learned that fibroblasts — cells that causes scarring and are plentiful throughout the human body — can be coaxed into becoming endothelium, an entirely different type of adult cell that forms the lining of blood vessels.
“It is likely that modifications of this small molecule approach may be used to generate other body cells of therapeutic interest,” Cooke said. “What we are seeing is evidence of the fluidity of cell fate with the proper stimulation. If we can understand the underlying pathways and how to manipulate them, we may very well learn how reawaken primordial mechanisms for regeneration that are active in lower vertebrates such as newts.”
“One of the next steps will be to see if we can rescue an animal from an injury,” Cooke said. “We want to know if the therapy enhances healing by increasing blood flow to tissues that may have been damaged by a loss of blood because of ischemia.”
Source by : Science Daily News