Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 7th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Mending Broken Hearts
05 March 2012

Mending Broken Hearts

In the grip of a heart attack (also known as myocardial infarction), heart muscle cells are killed by oxygen deprivation. Unable to replace cells, the heart is left with a scar, a region which affects its ability to pump properly and poses a risk of further health problems. Researchers are now looking at zebrafish to study scars because, unlike humans, they can replace damaged heart cells. Pictured here zebrafish heart muscle cells (stained purple) have experienced something like a heart attack which has killed off some cells (the black cleft). Around the damaged area a protein called Tenascin-C (stained green) is playing a healing role. Triggered in response to injury it appears near the edges of healthy cells. Researchers think that, at least in zebrafish, Tenascin-C helps replace dead cells with new heart cells.

Written by Gwen Wathne

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.