Study: Fetal heart cells can replace diseased cardiac tissue

10/13/2008 | Yahoo!

U.S. scientists working on embryonic mice genetically engineered to have hearts composed of mixed cells -- half healthy cells and half lacking mitochondria -- found that at birth, the animals had fully functional hearts and diseased cells represented only about 10% of the cardiac tissue. The study, however, also found that more than 40% of adult mice developed premature cardiac problems. The findings show that the fetal heart has an "impressive regenerative capacity ... that can compensate for an effective loss of half of the cardiac tissue," one of the researchers said.

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