By transforming human scar cells into blood vessel cells, scientists at Houston Methodist may have discovered a new way to repair damaged tissue. The method, described in an upcoming issue of Circulation (early online), appeared to improve blood flow, oxygenation, and nutrition to areas in need.
Scar cells (top, nuclei stained blue) are coaxed into becoming blood vessel cells with a new, small-molecule and protein therapy. Evidence of the conversion is shown in the second panel (bottom), where red staining indicates the presence of CD31, a protein made by blood vessel cells. In a new Circulation paper, Houston Methodist scientists report these transformed cells self-assembled into vessels that improved blood flow.
Credit: Jack Wong, Houston Methodist Research Institute
Also contributing to the Circulation paper were Nazish Sayed, M.D., Ph.D., Wing Tak Wong, Ph.D., Frank Ospino, and Shu Meng, Ph.D. (Houston Methodist Research Institute), Jieun Lee, Ph.D. and Arshi Jha (Stanford University School of Medicine), and Phillip Dexheimer and Bruce J. Aronow, Ph.D. (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center). Work was funded by the National Institutes of Health (U01HL100397, RC2HL103400, HL098049-01A1, and PCBC_JS_2012/1_02) and the American Heart Association (13SDG17340025 and 13SDG15800004).