Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UI study explains how heart attack can lead to heart rupture

18.11.2011
For people who initially survive a heart attack, a significant cause of death in the next few days is cardiac rupture -- literally, bursting of the heart wall.

A new study by University of Iowa researchers pinpoints a single protein as the key player in the biochemical cascade that leads to cardiac rupture. The findings, published Nov. 13 as an Advance Online Publication (AOP) of the journal Nature Medicine, suggest that blocking the action of this protein, known as CaM kinase, may help prevent cardiac rupture and reduce the risk of death.

After a heart attack, the body produces a range of chemicals that trigger biological processes involved in healing and repair. Unfortunately, many of these chemical signals can become "too much of a good thing" and end up causing further damage often leading to heart failure and sudden death.

"Two of the medicines that are most effective for heart failure are beta-blockers, which block the action of adrenaline, and drugs that block the angiotensin receptor," explains Mark E. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., UI professor and head of internal medicine and senior study author. "The third tier of therapy is medication that blocks the action of aldosterone."

Aldosterone levels increase in patients following a heart attack, and higher levels of the hormone are clearly associated with greater risk of death in the days immediately following a heart attack.

Increased aldosterone levels also are associated with a burst of oxidation in heart muscle, and in 2008, Anderson's team showed that oxidation activates CaM kinase. Anderson's research has also shown that CaM kinase is a lynchpin in the beta-blocker and angiotensin pathways.

"We wondered if aldosterone might somehow work through CaM kinase and, if it did, could some of the benefits of aldosterone blockers be attributed to effects on CaM kinase?" Anderson says.

Anderson's team, including co-first authors Julie He (photo, right), a student in the UI Medical Scientist Training Program; Mei-Ling Joiner, Ph.D.; Madhu Singh, Ph.D.; Elizabeth Luczak, Ph.D.; and Paari Swaminathan, M.D., devised a series of experiments in mice to investigate how elevated levels of aldosterone damage heart muscle after a heart attack and how Cam kinase is involved.

The experiments confirmed that aldosterone increases the amount of oxidized, and therefore, activated CaM kinase in heart muscle. Mice given excess aldosterone, mimicking levels seen in human patients, were twice as likely to die after a heart attack as mice that were not given extra aldosterone (70 percent vs. 35 percent), and the cause of death was heart rupture.

Importantly, any treatment that reduced the amount of oxidized CaM kinase or otherwise inhibited CaM kinase activity lowered the risk of cardiac rupture and death in the mice.

Interestingly, the researchers found that activated CaM kinase prompted heart muscle cells to produce an enzyme called MMP9 that is implicated in heart rupture.

"Although there are many sources of this enzyme, our study showed that heart muscle itself is actually making this protein too and is acting against its own self-interest in doing so," Anderson says. "We don't know why it happens, but inhibiting CaM kinase can prevent it."

The MMP9 enzyme is involved in remodeling the "matrix" that surrounds heart cells. This matrix, which acts like mortar between cells, is constantly being broken down and rebuilt. In hearts that rupture after heart attack this remodeling process becomes excessive, weakening the matrix to the point that it ruptures.

Because matrix remodeling plays a role in other diseases, including cancer, Anderson notes that the CaM kinase findings may have clinical implications beyond heart disease.

Overall, the UI study suggests that blocking the biochemical processes triggered by aldosterone might help prevent cardiac rupture following a heart attack.

Anderson notes that a multi-center study currently underway in France is poised to determine if patients would benefit from getting aldosterone blockers right away rather than waiting several weeks.

"We think our study provides experimental evidence for why that should work," he says.

"We have now identified CaM kinase as a critical component for the disease effects of the three core therapeutic pathways in heart, and we are closer to understanding fundamental elements of these signaling pathways," Anderson says. "The findings enhance excitement that CaM kinase might be an important therapeutic target in heart disease, and developing Cam kinase inhibitors is a major goal for us so that we can move this from experimental findings to clinical testing."

The research was funded in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, UI Research Foundation and the Fondation Leducq Award to the Alliance for Calmodulin Kinase Signaling in Heart Disease.

The interdisciplinary research team included scientists from four departments in the UI Carver College of Medicine; the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Maastricht University in the Netherlands; University of Leuven in Belgium; and Ohio State University.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Care Media Relations, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room W319 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Brown, 319-356-7124, jennifer-l-brown@uiowa.edu

Jennifer Brown | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiowa.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>