There is a total of 735,000 heart attacks that takes place every year in the United States. Most patients who suffer from this condition actually do survive it normally. However, this causes a lot of physical and mental damage to the patients.
The damage in cells due to heart attacks can no longer be regenerated by the body. A study was conducted at UC San Francisco, tried to track back to the reason of no regeneration. It was suggested that our ancestors stopped the regeneration of destructed heart cells as they evolved to endothermy (warm-bloodedness). This might have been an important factor for mammals but it was traded in for a more important change.
Being warm-blooded helped mammals to adapt to the change in temperature and expand through the globe. This however, has directly affected our ability to regenerate most of our destructed cells, which is an ability that cold blooded animals possess at the moment.
According to Ph.D holder, Gui Huand, who is an investigator at UCSF’s Cardiovascular Research Institute, assistant professor of physiology and senior author of the study, “Many of the lower vertebrates can regenerate body parts and organs, including the heart, but most mammals cannot. This feature was lost somewhere in the ectotherm-to-endotherm transition.”
Thyroid Hormones are responsible for the warm-bloodedness we possess by regulating the body temperature and heat generation. However, it has been discovered that it is also responsible for suppressing cell regeneration.
These results could be further enhanced to help amend the hormones or control them when needed, to help patients regenerate heart tissues.