Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have found that an inflammatory mechanism known as inflammasome may lead to more damage in the heart following injury such as a heart attack, pointing researchers toward developing more targeted strategies to block the inflammatory mechanisms involved.
Following a heart attack, an inflammatory process occurs in the heart due to the lack of oxygen and nutrients. This process helps the heart to heal, but may also promote further damage to the heart. The mechanisms by which the heart responds to injury are not fully understood, so researchers have been examining the cellular pathways involved to gain further insight.
In a study published online the week of Nov. 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers addressed the role of a specific inflammatory mechanism, called inflammasome, during the process of healing in the heart. Using an animal model, the team found that inflammasome amplifies the response by generating the production of a key inflammatory mediator known as Interleukin-1â. Further, they described that pharmacologic inhibition of the formation of inflammasome prevents heart enlargement and dysfunction.
“Defining the role of the inflammasome in the response to injury in the heart and the possibility to intervene opens a new area of investigation for the prevention and treatment of heart failure following a heart attack,” said Antonio Abbate, M.D., assistant professor of medicine in the VCU Department of Internal Medicine and Division of Cardiology.
According to Abbate, who serves as the interim director for the cardiac intensive care unit at the VCU Pauley Heart Center, this study supports the team’s previous findings that showed that Interleukin-1â affects the heart, and blocking Interleukin-1â benefits patients of heart attack and heart failure.
“Based on the findings of the current study we are even more convinced that blocking Interleukin-1â may be safe and beneficial, and we are now exploring novel ways to do so,” he said.
Abbate said there are four ongoing clinical trials at the VCU Pauley Heart Center in patients with various heart conditions treated with a drug called anakinra which blocks Interleukin-1â.
Abbate and his team continue to examine the molecular mechanisms of inflammasome formation and heart injury, and hope to determine new ways to intervene with potentially more targeted strategies in the future.
The study was conducted in the Victoria W. Johnson Center for Research at VCU, which is directed by Norbert Voelkel, M.D, professor of medicine in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division.
Abbate led with a multidisciplinary team of VCU researchers biologists, physicians, and pharmacists including Eleonora Mezzaroma, Ph.D., and Stefano Toldo, Ph.D., post-doctoral associates in the VCU Pauley Heart Center; Daniela Farkas, B.S., research specialist in the Victoria Johnson Research Laboratory; Benjamin Van Tassell, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacology and outcome sciences; and Fadi Salloum, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and physiology in the VCU Pauley Heart Center.
This study was supported by a grant from the American Heart Association.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A copy of the study is available for reporters by contacting the PNAS News Office at 202-334-1310 or PNASnews@nas.edu.About VCU and the VCU Medical Center
Sathya Achia Abraham | EurekAlert!
NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses