Patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI) could progress to end-stage congestive heart failure, which is one of the most significant problems in public health. From the molecular and cellular perspective, heart failure often results from the loss of cardiomyocytes—the fundamental contractile unit of the heart—and the damage caused by myocardial injury in adult mammals cannot be repaired, in part because mammalian cardiomyocytes undergo cell-cycle arrest during the early perinatal period. However, recent studies in the hearts of neonatal small and large mammals suggest that the onset of cardiomyocyte cell-cycle arrest can be reversed, which may lead to the development of entirely new strategies for the treatment of heart failure. In this Viewpoint, we summarize these and other provocative findings about the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate cardiomyocyte proliferation and how they may be targeted to turn back the clock of cardiomyocyte cell-cycle arrest and improve recovery from cardiac injury and disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine