Myocardial infarction in neonatal mice, a model of cardiac regeneration
Journal of Visualized Experiments
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Myocardial infarction induced by coronary artery ligation has been used in many animal models as a tool to study the mechanisms of cardiac repair and regeneration, and to define new targets for therapeutics. For decades, models of complete heart regeneration existed in amphibians and fish, but a mammalian counterpart was not available. The recent discovery of a postnatal window during which mice possess regenerative capabilities has led to the establishment of a mammalian model of cardiac regeneration. A surgical model of mammalian cardiac regeneration in the neonatal mouse is presented herein. Briefly, postnatal day 1 (P1) mice are anesthetized by isoflurane and placed on an ice pad to induce hypothermia. After the chest is opened, and the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) is visualized, a suture is placed around the LAD to inflict myocardial ischemia in the left ventricle. The surgical procedure takes 10-15 min. Visualizing the coronary artery is crucial for accurate suture placement and reproducibility. Myocardial infarction and cardiac dysfunction are confirmed by triphenyl-tetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining and echocardiography, respectively. Complete regeneration 21 days post myocardial infarction is verified by histology. This protocol can be used to as a tool to elucidate mechanisms of mammalian cardiac regeneration after myocardial infarction.