How Does the Heart Repairs After a Heart Attack?


Immune response and the lymphatic system are central to cardiac repair after a heart attack, according to a study from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern University Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute. The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Find The Good and Bad Macrophages For Heart Damage

‘New insights into the basic mechanisms of cardiac repair are the first step toward developing novel therapeutic approaches to preserve heart function.’


Macrophages, or immune cells that rush to the heart after a heart attack to ‘eat’ damaged or dead tissue, also induce vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGFC) that triggers the formation of new lymphatic vessels and promotes healing.

The challenge now is to find a way either to administer VEGFC or to coax these macrophages to induce more VEGFC, to speed the heart repair process.


People who suffer a heart attack are at high risk for heart failure, even with the advances in medications to reduce mortality. This occurs in part because some macrophages that arrive at the site of damage are proinflammatory and do not induce VEGFC.

Good macrophages that induce VEGFC and the ‘bad’ ones don’t. We need to prevent the ‘bad’ macrophages from causing further damage.

Researchers are working to understand more about the progression to heart failure after a heart attack, to intervene early, and reset the course to cardiac repair.

Source: Medindia

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