Thymosin β4 is cardioprotective after myocardial infarction

Deepak Srivastava, Ankur Saxena, J. Michael Dimaio, Ildiko Bock-Marquette

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

40 Scopus citations


Heart disease is a leading cause of death in newborns and in adults. Efforts to promote cardiac repair by introduction or recruitment of exogenous stem cells hold promise but typically involve isolation and introduction of autologous or donor progenitor cells. We have found that the G-actin-sequestering peptide thymosin β4 promotes myocardial and endothelial cell migration in the embryonic heart and retains this property in postnatal cardiomyocytes. Survival of embryonic and postnatal cardiomyocytes in culture was also enhanced by thymosin β4. We found that thymosin β4 formed a functional complex with PINCH and integrin-linked kinase (ILK), resulting in activation of the survival kinase Akt/PKB, which was necessary for thymosin β4's effects on cardiomyocytes. After coronary artery ligation in mice, thymosin β4 treatment resulted in upregulation of ILK and Akt activity in the heart, enhanced early myocyte survival, and improved cardiac function. These findings suggest that thymosin β4 promotes cardiomyocyte and endothelial migration, survival, and repair and may be a novel therapeutic target in the setting of acute myocardial damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)1573317012, 9781573317016
StatePublished - Sep 2007

Publication series

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


  • Cardiac repair
  • Integrin-linked kinase
  • Thymosin β4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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