JERUSALEM, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Israeli scientists found that a blue molecule, called Chicago sky blue (CSB), could possibly reduce inflammation and improve heart function, the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) in central Israel reported on Sunday.
The CSB molecule is currently used as a blue dye in biological labs for research and diagnosis. Researchers found that the molecule can repair damaged heart tissue in mice, said the WIS study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI) Insight.
The researchers grew heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) in a lab dish, and placed them in test tubes. Then, they added thousands of different small molecules, one to each tube.
After six days, it was found that one of the compounds -- the CSB molecule -- caused the increase of the number of the muscle cells.
The researchers then injected the CSB into the mice who had heart attacks and found improvement in their cardiac function.
Like in humans, heart attacks in mice lead to scar tissue formation, as well as inflammations that causes more scarring and further deterioration of the heart function.
However, after the CSB treatment, the mice's hearts were less scarred compared to the control group.
The team said the CSB prevents the activation of macrophage immune cells. these cells are active in the process of wound healing, but in the heart this healing can be tied to scar tissue formation after a heart attack.