Great pic for Valentine's day http://t.co/QwleEycewG by @NIHDirector pic.twitter.com/EAIO2KZOEt
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) February 14, 2014
"Working with rat heart muscle cells grown in a lab dish, NIH-supported bioengineers at Harvard Medical School used transplant techniques to boost the number of tiny powerhouses, called mitochondria, within the cells. If you look closely at the image above, you’ll see the heart muscle cells are tagged in green, their nuclei in blue, and their mitochondria in red.
Why on earth would a heart need extra mitochondria? At least in rat experiments, it turns out that hearts that receive additional mitochondria after a heart attack are more effective at repairing tissue damage and regaining function. The extra mitochondria make this possible by boosting energy generation, which in turn ramps up production of proteins vital for forming blood vessels, spurring cell migration to damaged tissue, and preventing cell death.
This approach holds considerable appeal because mitochondria are relatively easy to harvest from liver cells, do not trigger immune reactions when transplanted into heart cells, and could be combined with drugs or other therapies. What’s not to love about that?" (Source)