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 How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

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: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>