Heart: Improved regeneration after heart attacks possible

Heart: Improved regeneration after heart attacks possible

Altered white blood cells reduce heart attack damage
White blood cells take on extremely important functions in the organism, with the elimination of pathogens and thus infection protection being of particular importance. Altered white blood cells also release substances "that reduce the severity of damage after a heart attack or stroke and in spinal cord injuries and have a positive effect on wound healing," according to the latest report from MedUni Vienna. The research group led by Hendrik Jan Ankersmit from the Clinical Department for Thoracic Surgery at MedUni Vienna had demonstrated these positive properties in irradiated white blood cells.

Although the scientists at MedUni Vienna were able to demonstrate the beneficial effects of irradiated white blood cells in previous studies, it remained unclear which substances were exactly responsible for the effects. In their current investigations, Ankersmit and colleagues have now found that “a purified exosome or protein fraction” is primarily responsible for this. In addition, lipids (fat-like substances) and other microparticles are involved. Ionizing radiation would cause the white blood cells to release a complex "cocktail" that has an impressive regenerative effect.

White blood cells as bioreactors
The Austrian research group from MedUni Vienna found that the ionizing radiation in white blood cells causes an increased release of the complex "cocktail" - called APOSEC (acronym from "Apoptotic Secretome)". The quality of the ingredients could also be regulated by the radiation, report Ankersmit and colleagues. White blood cells are therefore suitable as a “bioreactor” for the production of APOSEC. Obtaining these bioreactors is extremely easy and comparable to the effort of a conventional blood donation. In the large animal model (in cooperation with Mariann Gyöngyösi from the cardiology department of MedUni Vienna), a significant reduction in heart attack damage from treatment with irradiated white blood cells has already been demonstrated and the "positive results arouse justified hopes for the planned studies in the skin and in heart indications in humans" , Ankersmit emphasizes. The researchers have published their results in the scientific reports. (fp)

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