Exercise may help make heart younger
In a new study performed in mice, researchers from the Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (HSCRB), Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School (HMS), and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) uncovered one explanation for why exercise might be beneficial: It stimulates the heart to make new muscle cells, both under normal conditions and after a heart attack.
Just published in the journal Nature Communications, the findings have implications for public health, physical education, and the rehabilitation of cardiac patients.
The human heart has a relatively low capacity to regenerate itself. Young adults can renew around 1 percent of their heart muscle cells every year, and that rate decreases with age. Losing those cells is linked to heart failure, so interventions that increase cell formation have the potential to help prevent it.
The two first authors on the study were Ana Vujic of HSCRB and Carolin Lerchenmüller of MGH and HMS. Vujic said, “We wanted to know whether there is a natural way to enhance the regenerative capacity of heart muscle cells. So we decided to test the one intervention we already know to be safe and inexpensive: exercise.”
Autor / Fonte:Harvard