Newborn mice and piglets exhibit natural heart regeneration after myocardial infarction (MI). Discovering other mammals with this ability would provide evidence that neonatal cardiac regeneration after MI may be a conserved phenotype, which if activated in adults could open new options for treating ischemic cardiomyopathy in humans. Here, we hypothesized that newborn rats undergo natural heart regeneration after MI. Using a neonatal rat MI model, we performed left anterior descending coronary artery ligation or sham surgery in one-day-old rats under hypothermic circulatory arrest (n = 74). Operative survival was 97.3%. At 1 day post-surgery, rats in the MI group exhibited significantly reduced ejection fraction (EF) compared to shams (87.1% vs. 53.0%, p < 0.0001). At 3 weeks post-surgery, rats in the sham and MI groups demonstrated no difference in EF (71.1% vs. 69.2%, respectively, p = 0.2511), left ventricular wall thickness (p = 0.9458), or chamber diameter (p = 0.7801). Masson's trichome and picrosirius red staining revealed minimal collagen scar after MI. Increased numbers of cardiomyocytes positive for 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (p = 0.0072), Ki-67 (p = 0.0340), and aurora B kinase (p = 0.0430) were observed within the peri-infarct region after MI, indicating ischemia-induced cardiomyocyte proliferation. Overall, we present a neonatal rat MI model and demonstrate that newborn rats are capable of endogenous neocardiomyogenesis after MI.
View details for DOI 10.3390/cells9010229
View details for PubMedID 31963369