Researchers pursue interventions to tame first-responder cells after heart attack

When a heart attack occurs, first-responder cells launch into repair mode to fix the damage. The catch — new research in mice suggests they promote more inflammation than necessary. Based on these findings, a team of researchers, led by Prabha Nagareddy, M. Pharm, PhD, associate professor in the Division of Cardiac Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, are pursuing interventions to tame this response and bring more balance to the healing process after a heart attack. 

In a series of studies, the researchers have identified the cellular events that lead to a call for reinforcements — an extra wave of the first responders — to the site of repair. 

“This process leads to the release of proinflammatory proteins at a point when they aren’t needed, creating conditions that may threaten optimum healing of the heart,” Dr. Nagareddy said.

The most recent study on this work is published in the Jan. 4, 2022, issue of the journal Circulation (external link). Read more about how first responder cells after heart attack prompt inflammation overdrive (external link).