Gene therapy for the heart, what does it consist of?

Gene therapy for the heart is one of the most important advances in current medicine. It forms a new treatment strategy for heart failure. In recent years, research on it has increased significantly.

Gene therapy It consists of transferring genetic material to the cells of an individual. The idea is to restore a cellular function that is defective or introduce a new function.

Gene therapy for the heart seeks to stimulate the formation of blood vessels. This may help prevent heart attacks or angina pectoris, which are pathologies with a lot of incidence and mortality today.

Therefore, due to its importance, In this article we explain to you what is the gene therapy for the heart.

Heart failure

Gene therapy for the heart has benefits over patients with heart failure.

Heart failure is that the heart stops pumping blood efficiently. Therefore, oxygenated blood does not reach all areas of the body correctly.

Despite all the pharmacological advances, It is a pathology that affects more people every day. Heart failure may be due to coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, infections, and so on.

Although there are many possible causes, the result at the cellular level is the same. Certain genetic changes occur in heart cells (myocytes). The contractile proteins of these cells are altered.

This makes it possible that, through gene therapy for the heart, a treatment can be established. The idea is to alter the genetics of these cells. Thus, it is tried that the proteins return to express themselves of normal way.

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Gene therapy for the heart

As we have mentioned, gene therapy consists of inserting a gene into a human cell. The idea is to be able to treat a disease. This can be done in pathologies whose basis is a genetic defect, such as some inherited diseases (for example, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy).

But on the other hand, It can also be used for certain diseases in which genes are not expressed correctly. In the case of heart failure, it has been shown that in the cells of the heart the expression of certain proteins decreases.

This is what leads to the heart becoming hypertrophied. That is, the heart grows too much and cannot maintain its function.. Therefore, it is unable to carry blood efficiently to all parts of the body.

Gene therapy for the heart too it can be routed to regenerate the heart after a heart attack. In this case, it is about »regenerating» the tissue. For this, the multiplication of the cells is stimulated.

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So what is gene therapy for the heart?

Research on gene therapy for the heart has yielded promising results in the regeneration of the heart muscle. However, the evidence is still limited.

Recently, researchers from a New York hospital, have tried a gene therapy for the heart that helps it regenerate after a heart attack. They have done it on animals, but the idea is that it can soon be used on people.

The Mount Sinai hospital team observed that some animals regenerate their hearts after damage. For example, salamanders are able to multiply the cells of your heart muscle.

In humans, when the heart tissue is injured, a fibrous tissue is created. That is to say, a scar forms where the lesion was, which is not able to beat.

However, if the cells of our heart could multiply, it could regenerate and beat normally after a heart attack. The gene that relates to this multiplication capacity is called cyclin A2.

These scientists demonstrated that, after injecting this gene into some animals after a heart attack, six weeks later, new cells with contraction capacity had formed. This is a type of gene therapy for the heart.

In addition, after this, it was shown that the force of contraction of the heart had increased. Which indicated that, after gene therapy for the heart, they had managed to get the heart to pump the blood correctly again after a heart attack.

In conclusion

Gene therapy for the heart constitutes a very promising future for medicine. With these investigations, it has been shown that, by injecting certain genes, the heart can be repaired after a heart attack or in the case of heart failure.

Therefore, it is important to promote research. In short, all these types of treatments can help us in the future to improve our quality and life expectancy.