Dissecting mechanisms of neonatal cardiac regeneration

Vasco Sampaio Pinto

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared

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Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. After a heart attack, cardiac muscle dies, which progressively leads to organ dysfunction and heart failure. Current therapies focus on slowing disease progression but are not curative as they fail to restore the lost muscle. This thesis established and characterized an animal model of cardiac injury, where observe partial cardiac regeneration was observed, with restoration of cardiac muscle by division of cardiomyocytes, the contractile cells of the heart. This represents an important advance for cardiovascular research as it may contribute to the development of improved therapies. Moreover, an optimized protocol was developed to unequivocally quantify cardiomyocyte division. This protocol is now available to the scientific community and can be used by those willing to study activation of cardiac regenerative mechanisms and is expected to contribute to the identification of processes leading to the remuscularization of the heart after injury.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Nascimento, Diana S., Supervisor, External person
  • da Costa Martins, Paula, Supervisor
  • Pinto-Do-O, P., Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date8 Jun 2021
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464232776
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • cardiovascular diseases
  • animal models
  • cardiac regeneration
  • cardiomyocyte proliferation
  • cardiac fibrosis
  • stereology


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