The Hinits Group
Group leader: Dr Yaniv Hinits
The aim of the Hinits group’s research is to understand the mechanisms
that allow heart regeneration, by using the adult zebrafish heart as a model
system. Myocardial infarction causes death of cardiomyocytes (CMs) that, in
humans, are not significantly regenerated.
This leads to a permanent cardiac functional deficit and ensuing heart
disease. In some vertebrates such as zebrafish,
there is an efficient myocardial repair after injury. Adult zebrafish can
regenerate the heart within 60-130 days after injury (dpi) depending on the
Fig. 1 Left panel- whole heart of adult zebrafish 1 day post injury (dpi) showing apical ventricular injury (dotted line) with blood clot. Right panel- a section of an 11 dpi cryoinjured ventricle stained for Hematoxylin and Eosin showing many nuclei at the healing wound area (Inj.)
A key step in this process is de-differentiation of CMs to permit
proliferation. We specifically investigate the roles of the Mef2 proteins in differentiation during development and patterning of the heart, and in the dedifferentiation of CMs during adult heart regeneration.
Fig. 2 Heart of a 3 dpf zebrafish transgenic (myl7:EGFP) embryo
• Susanna Molinari, Modena.
• Nadia Mercader, Madrid.
• Chrissy Hammond, Bristol
• British Heart Foundation