Researchers have found that blood of youngsters can rejuvenate the heart of the old ones – at least in mice.
Previously, researchers found that the blood from the young mice could rejuvenate the brain of the older mice. (Nature, doi:10.1038/nature10357).
In the new study, researchers worked on two mice; one was 2-month-old and the other was 23-month-old having cardiac hypertrophy – a condition in which the heart muscle thickens leading to heart failure. Researchers surgically joined the circulatory system of the two mice that caused the blood to flow around each other’s bodies.
Researchers found that the heart of the older mouse reverted back to almost the same size as that of the younger animal and the heart of the younger animal remained unaffected even after circulating the blood from the older mice.
“After 4 weeks of exposure to the circulation of young mice, cardiac hypertrophy in old mice dramatically regressed, accompanied by reduced cardiomyocyte size and molecular remodeling,” Researchers wrote.
Researchers found that a protein, GDF11, was present in huge amount in the young mice. This protein is important in cell development and healing, and now researchers have found its role in the betterment of hearts. They are think that this protein in low levels could help the people with cardiac hypertrophy. However, further researches are needed on this.
Loffredo, F., Steinhauser, M., Jay, S., Gannon, J., Pancoast, J., Yalamanchi, P., Sinha, M., Dall’Osso, C., Khong, D., Shadrach, J., Miller, C., Singer, B., Stewart, A., Psychogios, N., Gerszten, R., Hartigan, A., Kim, M., Serwold, T., Wagers, A., & Lee, R. (2013). Growth Differentiation Factor 11 Is a Circulating Factor that Reverses Age-Related Cardiac Hypertrophy Cell, 153 (4), 828-839 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.04.015