Scientists have discovered a molecule that can be used to generate unlimited numbers of new heart cells from stem cells.

US researchers examined a large collection of drug like chemicals and found that the molecule ITD—1 can generate new heart cells from stem cells.

The study used sophisticated robotic technology to methodically test a large collection of drug like chemicals which when added to stem cells, resulted in cardiomyocytes.

“The only way to effectively replace lost heart muscle cells called cardiomyocytes is to transplant the entire heart,” said, Mark Mercola, director of Sanford—Burnham’s Muscle Development and Regeneration Program and senior author of the study.

“Using a drug to create new heart muscle from stem cells would be far more appealing than heart transplantation,” Mercola said.

The research published in the journal Stem Cell was conducted by Sanford—Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford—Burnham), the Human BioMolecular Research Institute and ChemRegen, Inc.

(This article was published on August 3, 2012)
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