Unexpected cell shape change raises possibility of novel therapeutic approach; Further animal study urged before human testing
Not only is low thyroid function very common in congestive heart failure, it also indicates a reduced likelihood of recovery, and an increased chance of death.
But based on earlier work showing that whatever leads to heart failure it is always preceded by changes in the heart cells, a new study demonstrates that a moderate dose of thyroid hormones (TH) over 30 days "normalizes" the shape of the cardiac cells (myocytes) and reduces stress on the hearts wall nearly 40%. "As patients move toward heart failure, the myocytes become longer and flatter, and the wall stress worsens," according to the head of the laboratory where the research was performed. "But moderate TH therapy selectively targeted myocyte cross-sectional shape and modified it in a positive way.
This is the first clue on what might be a novel therapeutic approach to heart failure because of the return to a more normal heart cell shape," according to A. Martin Gerdes, director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of South Dakota.
Mayer Resnick | EurekAlert!
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