Researchers from the Lund University Hospital, Sweden, studied the age of human cardiomyocytes by looking at the integration of carbon-14 into heart cells, generated by nuclear bomb testing in the 1950s.
The study found that the cells renew with a 1% annual turnover at age 25. This decreased to a 0.45% annual turnover at 75 years of age.
The researchers believe the findings should answer the long-standing question of whether humans generate new heart cells or are born with a set number.
Myocardial damage often leads to loss and insufficient regeneration of cardiomyocytes, therefore the study suggests research into therapeutic strategies to stimulate this process of generation is worthwhile.
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