Metabolism switch signals end for healing hearts


Researchers have identified the process that shuts down the human heart's ability to heal itself, and are now searching for a drug to reverse it.

University of Queensland's Dr James Hudson and Murdoch Children's Research Institute researcher Dr Enzo Porrello have shown a metabolic pathway governs the loss of the heart's proliferative capacity.

"A switch in a newborn's metabolism means this ability to regenerate heart tissue disappears, usually within a week," Dr Hudson said.

"Now we have identified the process that causes this to occur, we believe there could be an opportunity to reactivate regeneration in adult hearts."