News | Heart Failure | May 25, 2022

New Research Reveals How the Heart Repairs After a Heart Attack

Immune response and the lymphatic system are central to cardiac repair after a heart attack, according to a study from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern University Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute.

Getty Images


May 25, 2022 — Immune response and the lymphatic system are central to cardiac repair after a heart attack, according to a study from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern University Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute. These insights into the basic mechanisms of cardiac repair are the first step towards developing novel therapeutic approaches to preserve heart function. Findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

“We found that macrophages, or immune cells that rush to the heart after a heart attack to ‘eat’ damaged or dead tissue, also induce vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGFC) that triggers the formation of new lymphatic vessels and promotes healing,” said co-senior author Edward Thorp, PhD, from the Heart Center at Lurie Children’s and Associate Professor of Pathology and Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Our challenge now is to find a way either to administer VEGFC or to coax these macrophages to induce more VEGFC, in order to speed the heart repair process.”

People who suffer a heart attack are at high risk for heart failure, even with the advances in medications to reduce mortality. This occurs in part because some macrophages that arrive at the site of damage are proinflammatory and do not induce VEGFC.

“It is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde scenario, with ‘good’ macrophages that induce VEGFC and the ‘bad’ ones that don’t. We need to prevent the ‘bad’ macrophages from causing further damage,” said co-senior author Guillermo Oliver, PhD, Director of Feinberg Cardiovascular and Renal Research Institute – Center for Vascular and Developmental Biology, and Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “We are working to understand more about the progression to heart failure after a heart attack, in order to intervene early and reset the course to cardiac repair.”

Research at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is conducted through Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute. The Manne Research Institute is focused on improving child health, transforming pediatric medicine and ensuring healthier futures through the relentless pursuit of knowledge. Lurie Children’s is ranked as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. It is the pediatric training ground for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

For more information: www.jci.org

Related Content

News | Heart Failure

June 29, 2022 — A spiral wave of electrical activity in the heart can cause catastrophic consequences. One spiral wave ...

Home June 29, 2022
Home
News | Heart Failure

June 29, 2022 — Adult survivors of cancer have a higher risk of heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD) ...

Home June 29, 2022
Home
News | Heart Failure

June 29, 2022 — While lower vertebrates can repair their adult hearts after a heart attack, mammals — including humans — ...

Home June 29, 2022
Home
News | Heart Failure

June 27, 2022 — Results from one of the largest global studies of atrial fibrillation (AFib) procedures show that the ...

Home June 28, 2022
Home
News | Heart Failure

June 22, 2022 — Recommendations on how to use gene testing to prevent sudden cardiac death in athletes and enable safe ...

Home June 22, 2022
Home
News | Heart Failure

June 22, 2022— Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine have developed a ...

Home June 22, 2022
Home
News | Heart Failure

June 20, 2022— Marc Chatzky may not feel like a cardiac pioneer, but he is, at least in South Florida. The Deerfield ...

Home June 20, 2022
Home
News | Heart Failure

June 10, 2022 — Individuals with diabetes display a substantially increased risk of disease in left-sided heart valves ...

Home June 10, 2022
Home
News | Heart Failure

June 9, 2022 — Memorial Regional Hospital recently entered elite company, becoming just the fourth hospital in the ...

Home June 09, 2022
Home
News | Heart Failure

June 3, 3033 — Esperion announced findings from a real-world analysis of more than 400,000 patients at high-risk for ...

Home June 03, 2022
Home
Subscribe Now