Scientists considering alternative treatments for cardiac repair have discovered that by using a small secreted peptide known as Thymosin beta 4, it is possible to inhibit the death of heart muscles and stimulate the growth of new heart muscles. The findings demonstrate the ability of the peptide to protect the heart. The conclusion demonstrated that Thymosin beta 4 was the first known molecule to stimulate vascular and myocardial regeneration in human beings.
The peptide Thymosin beta 4 occurs naturally in the white blood cells, the spleen, the human blood pallets, and the thymus glands. The peptide is not only present in human beings, but also in many other species. From as early as the embryonic stage, the peptide is already present in the body and throughout life, it has the ability to provide great healing to the tissues of the heart through new cell regeneration process.
Though the other cells in the body have the ability to regenerate and this happen a couple of times through life, the cardiomyocyte doesn’t have much regeneration abilities and it is estimated that it regenerates at only 1% a year from birth. It implies that by the time of death, half of the original heart muscle cells shall have been replaced at this slow rate.
Heart diseases and other heart related complications were considered as permanent afflictions in the past. In just a matter of minutes, damage due to heart attack can take place, killing off the cardiomyocyte. But the scar tissues tasked with replacing the heart muscle cells are not so good in pumping blood. Due to this, scientists have been on a mission to look for a means of stopping the damage before it occurs and heal the damage if it has already occurred. The Thymosin beta 4 peptide has thus offered a promising solution by its ability to stimulate the growth of the cardiomyocyte cells I addition to the blood vessels.