Molecular pathway may help reduce damage after heart attack

December 13, 2011

University of Hawaii at Mānoa's John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) Assistant Professor Michelle Matter and her colleagues in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology and the Center for Cardiovascular Research have discovered a molecular pathway that may help reduce the damaging effects of an enlarged heart, caused by hypertension or a heart attack.

Enlargement of the heart, called cardiac hypertrophy, stretches cardiac cells, causing the cells to release Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). VEGF helps protect cardiac function and keep cardiac cells alive.

"We have found that stretch of adult cardiac cells promotes release of VEGF through activation of the NFkB signaling pathway," said Dr. Matter, an Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology. "Targeting this molecular pathway may alleviate the pathological effects of hypertrophy and increase survival of patients who have had a heart attack or suffer hypertension."

Matter's research, conducted in conjunction with Dr. Eugene Konorev at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo, is published today in PLoS ONE, a peer-reviewed medical journal. The research was funded by the National Center for Research Resources, part of the National Institutes of Health.

More than 3,100 people in Hawai'i die of cardiovascular disease every year, according to The Burden of Heart Disease in Hawai'i, a report to the Hawai'i State Department of Health (DOH).

Further, the report suggests as many as 70% of the adults in Hawai'i have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

Residents of Hawai'i Island, Native Hawaiians, Filipinos, and the poor have higher risks for cardiovascular disease, according the DOH report.

Ways to lessen your risk for heart disease include lowering high blood pressure, reducing high cholesterol, not smoking, engaging in more physical activity, managing diabetes, and controlling weight.
-end-
Dr. Matter's paper is published on line at: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0029055.

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Related Heart Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Cellular pathway of genetic heart disease similar to neurodegenerative disease
Research on a genetic heart disease has uncovered a new and unexpected mechanism for heart failure.

Mechanism linking gum disease to heart disease, other inflammatory conditions discovered
The link between periodontal (gum) disease and other inflammatory conditions such as heart disease and diabetes has long been established, but the mechanism behind that association has, until now, remained a mystery.

New 'atlas' of human heart cells first step toward precision treatments for heart disease
Scientists have for the first time documented all of the different cell types and genes expressed in the healthy human heart, in research published in the journal Nature.

With a heavy heart: How men and women develop heart disease differently
A new study by researchers from McGill University has uncovered that minerals causing aortic heart valve blockage in men and women are different, a discovery that could change how heart disease is diagnosed and treated.

Heart-healthy diets are naturally low in dietary cholesterol and can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
Eating a heart-healthy dietary pattern rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, vegetable oils and nuts, which is also limits salt, red and processed meats, refined-carbohydrates and added sugars, is relatively low in dietary cholesterol and supports healthy levels of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol.

Pacemakers can improve heart function in patients with chemotherapy-induced heart disease
Research has shown that treating chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy with commercially available cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) delivered through a surgically implanted defibrillator or pacemaker can significantly improve patient outcomes.

Arsenic in drinking water may change heart structure raising risk of heart disease
Drinking water that is contaminated with arsenic may lead to thickening of the heart's main pumping chamber in young adults, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

New health calculator can help predict heart disease risk, estimate heart age
A new online health calculator can help people determine their risk of heart disease, as well as their heart age, accounting for sociodemographic factors such as ethnicity, sense of belonging and education, as well as health status and lifestyle behaviors.

Wide variation in rate of death between VA hospitals for patients with heart disease, heart failure
Death rates for veterans with ischemic heart disease and chronic heart failure varied widely across the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system from 2010 to 2014, which could suggest differences in the quality of cardiovascular health care provided by VA medical centers.

Heart failure: The Alzheimer's disease of the heart?
Similar to how protein clumps build up in the brain in people with some neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, protein clumps appear to accumulate in the diseased hearts of mice and people with heart failure, according to a team led by Johns Hopkins University researchers.

Read More: Heart Disease News and Heart Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.