What can a little fish tell us about repairing our hearts?

What can a little fish tell us about repairing our hearts?


Heart and circulatory diseases, such as
heart attacks, can damage the heart muscle. This means people can develop
heart failure. But, unlike humans some of us
tetra fish can repair our hearts. 1.5 million years ago, our ancestors living in Northern Mexico split up. Flooding washed some of us out of the rivers and into caves. The fish in the caves gradually lost their colour and became blind. In the rivers, many of us were able to repair our hearts when they were damaged but our relatives in the caves couldn’t. So BHF-funded Dr. Mathilda Mommersteeg visited the rivers and caves in Mexico to find out. Her team have also spent years studying our genes at the University of Oxford. Now they’ve discovered that the difference between us river fish and our relatives in the caves seems to be a gene called lrrc10. Problems with this gene are linked to certain types of heart failure in humans. This gene works better
in us river fish and that means we can repair our hearts. If Dr. Mommersteeg can work out why this happens, her research may reveal new ways to
repair human hearts in years to come. with your support us fish could help the
BHF heal more people with damaged hearts to find out more about how we’re trying
to save lives with research visit BHF dot org dot uk’
slash research stories

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