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Reversing heart damage with zombie cell-killing drug


Key points from article :

After a heart attack senescent cells, also known as zombie cells, build up in the heart and prevent recovery.

Zombie cells are not dead, but they don’t work as they should.

Researchers found various heart cells became senescent, or ‘zombified’ in the mice after a heart attack.

These cells release molecules which increase inflammation and cause scar tissue.

Mice were given a drug called navitoclax to kill zombie cells, every day for a week.

5 weeks later, found that navitoclax reduced zombie cells and improved recovery of the heart.

Inflammation was reduced, the scar tissue became smaller and there was an increased growth of blood vessels.

“Zombie cell-killing drug could be treating heart attack patients in the next 5-10 years.” - Gavin Richardson, lead author.

“Drugs that target senescent cells could provide an entirely new way of treating heart attacks.” - Metin Avkiran, Professor.

Research by NewCastle University.

Senescence killing drug in mice might unveil new heart attack treatments

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Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University


Professor of Molecular Cardiology at King's College London and Medical Director at BHF


Public world-class research-intensive University based in the North East of England