The study is published in the February issue of Circulation.
More than five and half million Americans have heart failure, according to the American Heart Association, and 670,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
In heart failure the heart is unable to pump effectively and cannot meet the body's need for blood and oxygen. It is really two diseases, each with about half of all patients, says Dr. Samuel Dudley, professor of medicine and physiology at UIC and chair of the section of cardiology. Systolic heart failure occurs when the heart can no longer contract effectively. In diastolic heart failure, the heart is unable to relax after contraction.
"Although we have a number of treatments for systolic heart failure, there are no approved treatments at all for diastolic heart failure, a deadly disease with a 60 percent mortality rate five years after diagnosis," said Dudley.
Hypertension is the cause in the overwhelming majority of diastolic heart failure cases.
"We know from previous studies that nitric oxide (NO) is necessary for blood vessel relaxation," said Dudley, "and that hypertension can lead to a decrease of NO in blood vessels."
Dudley and his colleagues knew that -- in blood vessels -- the problem was depletion of a chemical called tetrahydrobiopterin, or BH4, which is needed for the tissues to make NO.
"We decided to try thinking of the heart as a huge blood vessel that might also be unable to make the NO it needed due to long-term hypertension, and see if adding BH4 could make a difference," said Dudley.
They found that by giving mice BH4 they were not only able to prevent diastolic heart failure from developing, but to restore function to the heart after the fact.
"We are very excited about the possibilities of developing therapies for human heart failure based on BH4," said Dudley. BH4 has already been shown to be safe in FDA trials, in a formulation currently used to treat phenylketonuria, a genetic condition.
The research was supported by National Institutes of Health grants; an American Heart Association (AHA) Established Investigator Award and Veterans Affairs Merit Grant to Dudley; and an AHA Scientist Development Award to Xiao.
Dr. Gad Silberman, Dr. Tai-Hwang Fan, Dr. Hong Liu, Dr. Zhe Jiao, Dr. Hong Xiao, Dr. Joshua Lovelock, Dr. Beth Boulden, Dr. Julian Widder, Dr. Scott Fredd, Dr. Kenneth Bernstein, Beata Wolska, Sergey Dikalov and Dr. David Harrison also contributed to the study.
Jeanne Galatzer-Levy | EurekAlert!
Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences