Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Heart protein could be used to repair damage caused by heart attack

25.11.2004


A protein that the heart produces during its development could be redeployed after a heart attack to help the organ repair itself, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have found.



The mouse-study findings could eventually lead to new treatments for heart disease in humans and could even change the way healthcare providers respond to people suffering from heart attacks. The research appears today’s edition of Nature and is available online. "If the protein has a similar effect in humans as it does in mice, the impact by sheer volume is great – nearly 1 million people have heart attacks every year just in the United States," said Dr. Deepak Srivastava, professor of molecular biology and pediatrics and the study’s senior author. "The delivery is very simple and avoids many of the problems of using stem cells."

While more common in adults, heart disease is the leading noninfectious cause of death in children younger than one year. Heart disease in children is usually caused by developmental abnormalities. The protein, Thymosin beta-4, is expressed by embryos during the heart’s development. It encourages the migration of heart cells and affects those cells’ survivability. The new findings show that the protein prevents cell death after an experimentally-induced heart attack and limits the degree of scar tissue formation. Thymosin beta-4 is already used in clinical trials to promote wound healing on the skin. As a result, the protein could enter clinical trials for treating the heart in the very near future, said Dr. Srivastava, co-director of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Center at UT Southwestern.


During their study, UT Southwestern researchers discovered that Thymosin beta-4 works in conjunction with two other proteins to promote survival and migration of heart muscle cells by activating the protein Akt/Protein Kinase B. Akt/PKB, when active, promotes cell survival.

After studying the activity of cells in culture, researchers created a mouse model by tying off the coronary artery of 58 adult mice, simulating a heart attack. Half of the mice were given Thymosin beta-4 systemically, directly into the heart, or through both routes immediately after the ligation. The other half were given control injections of saline immediately after the artery was tied off. Researchers found that Thymosin beta-4 caused fewer cells in the affected part of the heart to die, resulting in improved function even several weeks after the heart attack. Researchers now believe that Thymosin beta-4 changes cell metabolism to create stronger heart muscle cells that can resist the low oxygen conditions after a heart attack.

The next step, Dr. Srivastava said, is to determine the most effective dose, the optimal time to administer Thymosin beta-4 and how long after an attack the protein can be given to be effective.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved were Dr. Ildiko Bock-Marquette, a postdoctoral researcher in pediatrics and co-lead author; Ankur Saxena, graduate student research assistant in the genetics and development program and co-lead author; Dr. J. Michael DiMaio, assistant professor of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery; Michael White, a research assistant in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery; and Glenn Adams IV, a research technician in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, the American Heart Association and the Donald W. Reynolds Clinical Cardiovascular Research Center funded the study.

Staishy Bostick Siem | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Seeing on the Quick: New Insights into Active Vision in the Brain
15.08.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

nachricht New Approach to Treating Chronic Itch
15.08.2018 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>