Thymosin β4 and cardiac repair

Santwana Shrivastava, Deepak Srivastava, Eric N. Olson, J. Michael Dimaio, Ildiko Bock-Marquette

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

35 Scopus citations


Hypoxic heart disease is a predominant cause of disability and death worldwide. As adult mammals are incapable of cardiac repair after infarction, the discovery of effective methods to achieve myocardial and vascular regeneration is crucial. Efforts to use stem cells to repopulate damaged tissue are currently limited by technical considerations and restricted cell potential. We discovered that the small, secreted peptide thymosin β4 (Tβ4) could be sufficiently used to inhibit myocardial cell death, stimulate vessel growth, and activate endogenous cardiac progenitors by reminding the adult heart on its embryonic program in vivo. The initiation of epicardial thickening accompanied by increase of myocardial and epicardial progenitors with or without infarction indicate that the reactivation process is independent of injury. Our results demonstrate Tβ4 to be the first known molecule able to initiate simultaneous myocardial and vascular regeneration after systemic administration in vivo. Given our findings, the utility of Tβ4 to heal cardiac injury may hold promise and warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThymosins in Health and Disease
Subtitle of host publication2nd International Symposium
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781573318013
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Publication series

NameAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
ISSN (Print)0077-8923
ISSN (Electronic)1749-6632


  • Cardiac regeneration
  • Coronary development
  • PKC
  • Progenitor cells
  • Thymosin β4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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