Raghav received his B.S. (Biotechnology, 2010) from Indiana University (Bloomington IN), followed by M.S. (Physiology, 2012) from Indiana State University (Terre Haute IN) where he studied angiogenesis in zebrafish doing cancer research. He received his Ph.D. from University of Cincinnati College of Medicine(Cell Biology, 2017) working on cardiovascular regenerative medicine. His thesis involved looking at microRNAs, stem cells, human-iPS derived cardiomyocytes, and other therapeutics that can be used for cardiac regeneration post ischemic injury.
In the United States, each year over 700,000 people suffer from a heart attack and over 25% of deaths are related to heart disease, making it the leading cause of death. Following ischemic injury a part of the heart muscle is replaced by a scar tissue, reducing its functioning capacity. Recent advancements in surgical intervention and pharmacotherapy only provide symptomatic relief and do not address the root cause of the problem which is the massive loss of cardiomyocytes (CM). Therefore, the development of novel therapeutic intervention for the repair and regeneration of ischemic myocardium remains an area of intense research. While existing CM in zebra fish and neonatal mice are known to proliferate and replenish the infarcted heart, it has been shown that adult mammalian CM lose this ability, thus preventing regeneration of the scar tissue. There have been many attempts to facilitate regeneration of ischemic heart but have met with limited success. Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are one of the promising candidates towards this goal as they are known to play important regulatory roles during differentiation and tissue regeneration, and regulate genetic information by post-transcriptional modification as well as regulation of other miRNAs. While previous work by Eulalio et al., showed miRNAs inducing proliferation in neonatal CM (NCM), we here identify miRNAs inducing proliferation of rat adult-CM (ACM). This commentary while analyses recent work by Eulalio et al also shows some new data with microRNAs in rat adult-CMs. Further work into the mechanism of these miRNAs can determine their therapeutic potential towards regenerating cardiac tissue post ischemic injury.