Researchers in Scotland and Israel study pericytes to regenerate the heart

Pericytes from human pluripotent stem cells for cardiac regeneration (Joint funding with BIRAX)

Bruno Peault (lead researcher)

Edinburgh, University of

Start date: 01 April 2015 (Duration 3 years)

The University of Edinburgh and Technion have world-leading researchers in the field of heart regeneration and as part of this project they will join forces to help find ways of repairing damaged heart muscle.

Professor Peault, based at the BHF-funded Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine, and Professor Itskovitz-Eldor are focusing on spider-like cells that wrap around blood vessels called pericytes. These cells are known to have the ability to stimulate the regeneration of tissue. But different pericyte types appear to have specific functions – some are responsible for the formation of scar tissue after damage rather than the regeneration of the damaged tissue.

The researchers plan to identify the different types of pericyte by finding molecules unique to each type which can act as markers. They will then test each type in the petri dish and in mice to see their capacity for regenerating tissue. Pericytes are ideal for regeneration because Professors Peault and Itskovitz-Eldor are able to produce the large numbers needed to be an effective treatment and will benefit from working with the University of Bristol’s Professor Paolo Madeddu who already has BHF funding for a major pericyte study.

By identifying the best pericytes for mending broken hearts, this project will help researchers take an important step towards a regenerative treatment for people whose hearts are damaged by heart attack. By combining the two research group’s expertise through this international collaboration, we hope to see progress much sooner than if they were in competition

Project details

Grant amount £200,000
Grant type Special Project
Start Date 01 April 2015
Duration 3 years
Reference SP/15/3/31473
Status In progress

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