Nav: Home

Two proteins control the growth of the heart and its adaptation to high blood pressure

January 22, 2016

Researchers at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC) have identified how two proteins control the growth of the heart and its adaptation to high blood pressure (hypertension). Lead investigator Dr. Guadalupe Sabio explains that the results, described in Nature Communications, not only increase our understanding of the mechanisms used by cardiac cells to grow and adapt, but could also help in the design of new strategies to treat heart failure caused by excessive growth of the heart. The study, carried out by Dr. Sabio and CNIC investigator Bárbara Gonzalez-Terán, shows for the first time that two proteins, p38 gamma and p38 delta, control heart growth.

The heart adapts to the changing needs of each stage of life by adjusting its size. In this way the heart grows in line with the rest of our body, including during pregnancy, in a process called cardiac hypertrohpy. However, excessive physical exercise, hypertension, and obesity can trigger excessive heart growth (pathological hypertrophy), a situation that can lead to a heart attack. Understanding the molecular processes that regulate heart function and growth is therefore of immense importance.

Dr. Sabio's group has found that p38 gamma and p38 delta regulate the growth of the left ventricle, the largest and strongest heart chamber, responsible for pumping oxygenated blood to the body. The research team showed that the hearts of mice lacking these proteins are smaller than normal. These hearts, although they function normally, are incapable of responding to external stimuli, such as high blood pressure.

The discovery advances understanding of the mechanisms through which heart cells grow and adapt. Moreover, as Dr. Sabio explains, "this new information could help in the design of new strategies to combat heart conditions caused by anomalous growth of heart muscle."

Controller genes

To date, the only way to prevent excessive heart growth has been to control blood pressure. The identification of the genes that control cardiac hypertrophy will increase understanding of the shared features of cardiac disease and the normal adaptation and grow of the heart according to the physiological needs of the organism.
-end-


Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares

Related High Blood Pressure Articles:

One in 3 high blood pressure patients failing to take medication
University of Leicester researchers design novel urine test to help to diagnose adherence to blood pressure medications.
'Connshing syndrome' named as a new cause of high blood pressure
Research led by scientists at the University of Birmingham has revealed a new cause of high blood pressure which could lead to major changes in managing the disease.
Do you really have high blood pressure?
A study by researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) shows that more than half of family doctors in Canada are still using manual devices to measure blood pressure, a dated technology that often leads to misdiagnosis.
Why do we develop high blood pressure?
Abnormally high blood pressure, or hypertension, may be related to changes in brain activity and blood flow early in life.
Sodium intake high, rising among people with high blood pressure
Despite recommendations to limit sodium intake to support a heart-healthy lifestyle, daily sodium intake significantly increased in Americans with high blood pressure from 1999-2012, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.
High folic acid level in pregnancy may decrease high blood pressure in children
A new article published in the American Journal of Hypertension finds that babies born to mothers with cardiometabolic risk factors were less likely to develop high blood pressure if their mothers had higher levels of folate during pregnancy.
For some, high blood pressure associated with better survival
Patients with both type 2 diabetes and acute heart failure face a significantly lower risk of death but a higher risk of heart failure-related hospitalizations if they had high systolic blood pressure on discharge from the hospital compared to those with normal blood pressure, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.
$9.4 million grant helps scientists explore how cell death from high blood pressure fuels even higher pressure
It's been known for decades that a bacterial infection can raise your blood pressure short term, but now scientists are putting together the pieces of how our own dying cells can fuel chronically high, destructive pressure.
Football is medicine for women with high blood pressure
Professor Peter Krustrup of the University of Southern Denmark has for the first time demonstrated a long-term effect for female patients participating in Football Fitness.
High blood pressure and brain health are linked
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for vascular cognitive impairment and is emerging as a potential risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.

Related High Blood Pressure Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...