Can microRNAs promote heart repair?

Mauro Giacca and colleagues identified 40 different microRNAs that boost the proliferation of cultured rodent heart muscle cells. The two most potent microRNAs were then injected into the hearts of mice
that had had heart attacks, reducing infarct size and prompting a near-complete functional recovery of the heart.

The mammalian heart is poorly regenerating, and researchers have put a lot of effort into finding molecules that stimulate the proliferation of heart muscle cells. These microRNAs seem to work by influencing the levels of over 40 different cellular genes, and it is hoped their discovery will aid the development of human regenerative therapies.



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Press Releases:

5 December 2012

Nature: Functional screening identifies miRNAs inducing cardiac regeneration

Nature: News & CommentHeart cells coaxed to divide and conquer. The heart does have a limited ability to heal itself — and a genetic 'trick' can harness this.

Nature: News & Views: Cardiovascular biology: A boost for heart regeneration

New Scientist: Gene switch found to help a heart heal itself

SciLogs: Can the Heart Regenerate Itself after a Heart Attack?

The Scientist: MicroRNAs Repair Heart Cells

6 December 2012 Researchers use microRNA to induce regeneration of heart tissue

7 December 2012

Jean Celements 4's blog: Gene switch found to help a heart heal itself

9 December 2012

ars technica: Scientific Method/Science&Exploration: Researchers get cardiac muscle cells to grow, repair heart attach damage

10 December 2012

BBC Dr. Karl and the Naked Scientist: Podcasts & Downloads Mauro Giacca speaks with Dr. Karl on a trigger to regrow heart cells 

Fierce Biotech Research: MicroRnas could heal broken hearts

Science News: Healing broken hearts, tracing Romani migration using genes, and how insulin irregularities may be linked to obesity

Link to Italian Press Releases


International Press Releases:

Bem Estar: Estudos identificam capacidade de regeneração em células cardíacas



Mauro Giacca (International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Trieste, Italy) 
Tel: +39 040 3757324; E-mail:

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34149 Trieste, ITALY
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