Cardiac Repair and Regenerative Potential in the Goldfish (Carassius Auratus) Heart

Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2014 Jun;163:14-23. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpc.2014.02.002. Epub 2014 Feb 15.


The remarkable ability of the heart to regenerate has been demonstrated in the zebrafish and giant danio, two fish members of the cyprinid family. Here we use light and electron microscopy to examine the repair response in the heart of another cyprinid, the goldfish (Carassius auratus), following cautery injury to a small portion of its ventricular myocardium. We observed a robust inflammatory response in the first two weeks consisting primarily of infiltrating macrophages, heterophils, and melanomacrophages. These inflammatory cells were identified in the lumen of the spongy heart, within the site of the wound, and attached to endocardial cells adjacent to the site of injury. Marked accumulation of collagen fibers and increased connective tissue were also observed during the first and second weeks in a transition zone between healthy and injured myocardium as well as in adjacent sub-epicardial regions. The accumulation of collagen and connective tissue however did not persist. The presence of capillaries was also noted in the injured area during repair. The replacement of the cauterized region of the ventricle by myocardial tissue was achieved in 6weeks. The presence of ethynyl deoxyuridine-positive cardiac myocytes and partially differentiated cardiac myocytes during repair suggest effective cardiac myocyte driven regeneration mechanisms also operate in the injured goldfish heart, and are similar to those observed in zebrafish and giant danio. Our data suggest the ability for cardiac regeneration may be widely conserved among cyprinids.

Keywords: Cardiac repair; Danio; Fibroblasts; Goldfish; Heart; Inflammation; Regeneration; Remodeling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Goldfish / physiology*
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / pathology
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic
  • Regeneration*


  • Collagen