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Molecular and cellular bases of heart regeneration in the zebrafish

Final Activity Report Summary - REGENZEBRA (Molecular and cellular bases of heart regeneration in the zebrafish)

The minimal ability of the adult human heart to regenerate lost or damaged cardiomyocytes has led to an intense effort to develop myocardial replacement therapies. New cardiomyocytes could be generated from pluripotent stem cells, such as human embryonic stem (hES) cells, and more recently, human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. However, this possibility is hampered by the facts that current protocols of directed differentiation are highly inefficient and only give rise to immature cardiomyocytes.
The zebrafish, in turn, displays a remarkable ability to regenerate extensive portions of the heart after amputation. In this process, potent signals that induce cardiomyocyte proliferation and maturation are generated, which are beginning to be unravelled by our laboratory and others.