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Study finds a new treatment for broken heart

CAR T cells can repair a broken heart, new study shows

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A new study published today says that CAR T cells produced in vivo can help treat cardiac injury.

The team claims that a novel immunotherapy technique based on in vivo creation of transient altered chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells by the introduction of modified mRNA can reduce fibrosis and restore cardiac function in a mouse model of heart failure.

The findings indicate that the technique could be beneficial as a tailored therapeutic platform for the treatment of a variety of different fibrotic diseases or linked ailments in the future.

Cardiac fibrosis, which is defined as the stiffening and scarring of heart tissue as a result of an injury, is a hallmark of heart disease and plays a significant role in the development of heart failure and the death of millions of people throughout the world.

Therapies for cardiac fibrosis, on the other hand, are still in their infancy and have had just a minor beneficial effect at best.

Following up on previous study that revealed the use of CAR T cells to destroy activated fibroblasts as a therapy for heart failure, Joel Rurik et al. proposed a new method that relies on the in vivo generation of engineered, transient CAR T cells that selectively identify and target fibrotic cells in the heart to treat the condition.

This was accomplished by delivering modified mRNA in T cell targeted lipid nanoparticles in a mouse model of heart failure. This reprogrammed T lymphocytes and promoted the creation of therapeutic CAR T cells exclusively within the body, according to Rurik et al.

The authors discovered that the therapy method successfully reduced fibrosis and restored heart function after injury.

“This work represents an exciting step toward translating personalized immunotherapies into accessible and affordable ‘off-the-shelf’ engineered T cell products,” says Torahito Gao and Yvonne Chen in a related Perspective.

Source: 10.1126/science.abm0594

Image Credit: Getty

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