Heart repair and regeneration: Recent insights from zebrafish studies

Authors

  • Ching-Ling Lien PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Heart Institute, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
    2. Program of Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine, The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
    • Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
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  • Michael R. Harrison PhD,

    1. Heart Institute, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
    2. Program of Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine, The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
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  • Tai-Lan Tuan PhD,

    1. Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
    2. Program of Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine, The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
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  • Vaughn A. Starnes MD

    1. Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
    2. Heart Institute, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
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Reprint requests:

Dr. C.-L. Lien, Children's Hospital Los Angeles—Surgery, 4650 Sunset Blvd. MS#137, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA.

Tel: +1 323 361 8377;

Fax: +1 323 361 3613;

Email: clien@chla.usc.edu

Abstract

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US and worldwide. Failure to properly repair or regenerate damaged cardiac tissues after myocardial infarction is a major cause of heart failure. In contrast to humans and other mammals, zebrafish hearts regenerate after substantial injury or tissue damage. Here, we review recent progress in studying zebrafish heart regeneration, addressing the molecular and cellular responses in the three tissue layers of the heart: myocardium, epicardium, and endocardium. We also compare different injury models utilized to study zebrafish heart regeneration and discuss the differences in responses to injury between mammalian and zebrafish hearts. By learning how zebrafish hearts regenerate naturally, we can better design therapeutic strategies for repairing human hearts after myocardial infarction.

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