Researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute have found a way to prevent heart failure.
Scientists have used an experimental targeted molecular therapy to block a matrix-forming protein in heart cells damaged by heart attack, reducing levels of scarred muscle tissue and saving mouse models from heart failure.
Heart failure, also referred to as congestive heart failure, occurs when the heart loses the ability to provide sufficient pump action to maintain blood flow. Most of the signs of a heart failure occur as a result of the congestion that develops as fluid, backing up into the lungs and leaking into the tissues.
For the study, the team tested a manufactured peptide called pUR4 to block the fibronectin protein in human heart cells donated by heart failure patients.
The scientists successfully prevented the human heart cells from failing and also restored their function. It helped reduce fibrosis and improved heart function in mice.
“Our data are a strong proof of principle and the first show that inhibiting fibronectin polymerization preserves heart function reduces left ventricle remodelling and limits formation of fibrotic connective tissue, said Burns Blaxall, the lead author of the study.
The scientists believe that more study is needed to know whether the experimental therapy would clinically work for humans.
The findings were published in this journal Circulation.
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