Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Jefferson scientists use gene therapy to restore function of damaged heart cells in laboratory

14.11.2003


Researchers at Jefferson Medical College and Duke University have used gene therapy to help damaged heart cells regain strength and beat normally again in the laboratory. The work takes the scientists one step closer to eventual clinical trials in humans.



Walter Koch, Ph.D., director of the Center for Translational Medicine of the Department of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and his colleagues at Duke used a virus to carry a gene into the heart cells of individuals who had suffered heart failure. The gene blocks the activity of an enzyme that is increased in such heart cells, in turn, enabling the cells to beat at normal strength. Dr. Koch and his co-workers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., presented their findings this week at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2003 in Orlando.

According to Dr. Koch, who is W.W. Smith Professor of Cardiology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, researchers have known for some time that the beta-adrenergic receptor system fails to work properly in individuals with end-stage heart failure. Such receptors "drive the heart – both by rate and force of contraction," he says.


The researchers’ target has been the beta-adrenergic kinase (ßARK1), an enzyme that is elevated in human heart failure. One of its functions is to turn off beta-adrenergic receptors. "In heart failure, beta adrenergic receptor density is decreased, ßARK is increased and both together cause dysfunctional beta receptor signaling," Dr. Koch says. "A failing heart then has little capacity to respond to exercise or stress because there are fewer receptors and the remaining receptors are more or less turned off.

"We have thought that inhibiting ßARK could increase signaling and increase function," he explains.

In the laboratory dish, the researchers infected heart cells from patients who underwent cardiac transplantation due to end-stage heart failure with an adenovirus that encoded both ßARKct – a peptide that can block ßARK – and a so-called "reporter gene" protein, which glows green. The latter provided a signal to the scientists that the inhibitor was indeed present in the heart cells. They then were able to use a video camera to actually measure how strong the individual heart cells were beating.

"We put the ßARKct into the cells, and failing human hearts become more like normal hearts, based on their ability to contract," Dr. Koch says. "This is the first work in actual human cells to show efficacy of ßARKct and the enzyme ßARK1 as targets for heart failure.

"This study is the last proof of concept," he adds, noting that years of previous work in various animal models enabled the research team to reach this point. "Now we are dealing with human cells from failing human hearts."

Further animal studies are planned, which, he notes, should lead to eventual human clinical trials.


Contact:
Steve Benowitz or Phyllis Fisher
215-955-6300
After Hours: 215-955-6060
E-Mail: steven.benowitz@mail.tju.edu

Steve Benowitz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tju.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht PET imaging tracks Zika virus infection, disease progression in mouse model
20.09.2017 | US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

nachricht 'Exciting' discovery on path to develop new type of vaccine to treat global viruses
18.09.2017 | University of Southampton

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>