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!
Infants later diagnosed with autism follow adults’ gaze, but seldom initiate joint attention
24.05.2019 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council
When wheels and heads are spinning - DFG research project on motion sickness in automated driving
22.05.2019 | Technische Universität Berlin
A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.
The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...
Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.
The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
27.05.2019 | Information Technology
24.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
24.05.2019 | Medical Engineering