The molecular basis of cardiac growth and development is a fundamental question that has intrigued many investigators in cardiovascular research. Adult cardiomyocytes are terminally differentiated and lose their ability to proliferate shortly after birth; however, in response to injury, myocytes have the capacity to synthesize new DNA and exhibit plasticity by a compensatory growth response, as is shown by re-expression of the fetal isoforms of many muscle-specific genes, which is characteristic of the proliferative response. The long-term effects of these compensatory responses may lead to the development and progression of diseases such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and dilated cardiomyopathy, because of a single point mutation. This concept has engaged scientists to investigate human models to explore the molecular basis of hypertrophy or dilation of the myocardium.
Durand, J. B. (1999). Genetic basis of cardiomyopathy. Current Opinion in Cardiology. https://doi.org/10.1097/00001573-199905000-00006