Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

An immune cell is shown for the first time to be involved in creating the scar that repairs the heart after damage.

Doctor using a stethoscope

Billions of cardiac muscle cells are lost during a heart attack. The human heart cannot replenish these lost cells, so the default mechanism of repair is to form a cardiac scar. While this scar works well initially to avoid ventricular rupture, the scar is permanent, so it will eventually lead to heart failure and the heart will not be able to pump as efficiently as before the damage caused by heart attack.

Zebrafish, a freshwater fish native to South Asia, is known to be able to fully regenerate its heart after damage due to the formation of a temporary scar as new cardiac muscle cells are formed. Professor Paul Riley and his team at the University of Oxford have been striving to understand and compare the composition of the cardiac scar in different animals as part of ongoing efforts to investigate whether it can be modulated to become a more transient scar like that of the zebrafish, and therefore potentially avoid heart failure in heart attack patients.

Read more on the Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics website

The story is also reported on the University of Oxford website.

Similar stories

Oxford University wins prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize

Her Majesty The Queen has approved the award of The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes to twenty-one higher and further education institutions, including Oxford University, in the most recent round of the independently reviewed scheme. This prestigious award is the highest national honour available to universities and FE colleges across the UK.

Jenner Institute named Covid Innovation Heroes

The team at the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute has been celebrated for their global pandemic work by The Oxford Trust’s Covid Innovation Heroes Award­ 2021.

Study reveals ‘stop-eating’ response to DNA damage

A new study from the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine sheds light on the mechanism by which DNA damage suppresses appetite, a finding with implications for understanding the appetite lowering side-effects of chemotherapy.

Fiona Powrie appointed new Deputy Chair of Wellcome’s Board of Governors

Fiona Powrie, Director of the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology at the University of Oxford has been selected as the next Deputy Chair of Wellcome’s Board of Governors.

World’s first cancer prevention trial to test diabetes drug in patients with high-risk genetic condition

Oxford researchers will lead a £2m national cancer prevention trial to assess the benefit a diabetes drug has in patients with Li Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), a genetic condition that impacts 1 in 20,000 people worldwide and puts them at a 70-90% lifetime risk of cancer.