Tetra, the Mexican fish that could help repair the human heart



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a little mexican fish can hide the key to changing the lives of thousands of people suffering from heart problems after having had a heart attack.

Tetra, whose scientific name is Astyanax Mexicanus, is able to regenerate the tissues of your heart without leaving scars.

The research, funded by the British Heart Foundation, found that three areas of the genome of this species are involved in its ability to regenerate tissue.

For this study, Dr. Mathilda Mommersteeg and her team at Oxford University they studied two types of Tetra Mexicans: those who live in the river and can heal the tissue of the heart and those who inhabit caves that can not.

The cave fish lived in the rivers of northern Mexico but were dragged into the caves by a flood about 1.5 million years ago and evolved, losing sight and color because they lived in the dark.

When comparing the two types of tetraThe researchers found that two genes (lrrc10 and caveolin) were much more active in river fish after a heart injury.

So scientists put the lrrc10 gene in a different species of fish with self-healing abilities, zebrafish.

Without this gene, the zebrafish could not fully repair their heart without leaving scars.

Both genes are present in humans, and it is known that lrrc10 is related to a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy.

The authors of the study say their findings suggest that one day it will be possible to regenerate damaged hearts in people artificially modifying how these and other genes work.

This could be done with medications or using genetic editing techniques, where DNA is modified, deleted or replaced using tools such as Crispr-Cas9.

"I think this fish can tell us, at some point, how we can actually repair the human heart …," said Dr. Mommersteeg, associate professor of developmental and regenerative medicine.

"It's early for this, but we're incredibly excited about these extraordinary fish and the potential to change the lives of people with damaged hearts," he added.

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