Heart tissue and stem cells spring into action to begin repairing muscle damaged in a heart attack, and researchers at Duke University School of Medicine found that a protein naturally produced in the body may potentially play a role in accelerating heart muscle repair.
Giving the right dose of this protein named secreted frizzled related protein 2 (sfrp2) in studies of rats helped to prevent heart failure and reduce collagen layering that can form thick scar tissue after a heart attack (also called MI, or myocardial infarction). Previously the same researchers demonstrated that this protein also saves heart muscle cells from dying in response to heart attack.
These findings have the potential to be translated into a new therapy for study and evaluation in human clinical trials, said Victor Dzau, M.D., senior author of the study and James B Duke Professor of Medicine.
"We found that giving the study rats the protein sfrp2 strongly improved heart function in the critical pumping chamber, the left ventricle, after a myocardial infarction," Dr. Dzau said. "We observed that sfrp2 at therapeutic doses reduced heart muscle death and also directly prevented deposits of collagen, and thus reduced the scarring that can affect heart function."
The study was published the week of Nov. 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Early Edition online.
Giving sfrp2 also helped prevent the heart wall from thinning, by the fourth week after injection. Because the scarring process (fibrosis) and tissue remodeling in the heart are often complete within a month of a heart attack in rats, the team performed a heart test called echocardiography (heart ultrasound) on the rats at three and four weeks after the myocardial infarction.
"We found the sfrp2 reduced the area of fibrosis in the left ventricle and also significantly decreased the ratio of anterior-to-posterior wall thickness in the heart," said Maria Mirotsou, Ph.D., a co-author and assistant professor of medicine.
Previously, the Dzau laboratory showed that a genetically modified type of stem cell that over-produced a factor called Akt dramatically reduced the size of the area affected by a heart attack and restored cardiac function in rodent hearts. The team identified sfrp2 as a key factor released by these stem cells during heart tissue survival and repair, and this study showed sfrp2 was a likely candidate for inhibiting collagen production, as well.
Other authors include lead author Wei He, Lunan Zhang, Aiguo Ni, Zhiping Zhang, Lan Mao, and Richard E. Pratt, all of the Dzau laboratory in the Mandel Center for Hypertension Research and the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in the Duke Department of Medicine.
The work was funded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute grants and grants from the Edna and Fred L. Mandel, Jr. Foundation and the Leducq Foundation.
Mary Jane Gore | EurekAlert!
A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences