Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Natural Hormone Could Reverse Heart Damage

Date:
August 13, 2003
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
By altering the signaling pathway of the natural hormone leptin, Johns Hopkins researchers say, doctors may one day be able to minimize or even reverse a dangerous enlarged heart condition linked to obesity.

By altering the signaling pathway of the natural hormone leptin, Johns Hopkins researchers say, doctors may one day be able to minimize or even reverse a dangerous enlarged heart condition linked to obesity. Their report is published in the Aug. 12 issue of the journal Circulation.

Related Articles


Leptin helps regulate body weight and metabolism, but also can affect the heart and blood vessels. The Hopkins researchers studied leptin's effects in a mouse model of obesity that also develops left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), a condition in which the main pumping chamber of the heart expands and stiffens, preventing proper blood flow to the body. Hypertrophy, which results from stress on the heart (for example, through high blood pressure or obesity), starts off as a compensatory mechanism but soon runs out of control, says lead study author Lili A. Barouch, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine. As the heart muscle is worked harder, it bulks up. But after too much strain, it can become stiff and cease contracting.

In their two-part study, Barouch and colleagues compared the hearts of three groups of mice at 2, 4, and 6 months old. One group lacked the gene for leptin, one group lacked the receptor for leptin, and the third was normal. Progressive obesity developed in the mice lacking leptin or its receptor, and by 6 months of age, researchers observed LVH in these mice but not in the controls. Individual heart cells also showed signs of enlargement.

Next, the Hopkins team divided the 6-month-old obese mice into three groups. Two groups were assigned to lose weight (one by leptin infusions and one by a calorie-restricted diet), while the third group continued to eat its regular diet. After four to six weeks, mice in both diet groups lost the same amount of weight. However, the mice who received leptin infusions had a complete reversal of LVH and a partial shrinkage of enlarged heart cells, whereas the mice on caloric restriction had no change in LVH and a smaller reversal of the enlarged heart cells.

So are leptin infusions headed to your doctor's office? "It's unlikely," Barouch says, as humans process the hormone differently than mice in this model. Obese people have leptin resistance, she says, so more work needs to be done before clinical therapies can be tested.

"If we can figure out the signaling pathways of leptin, we can change or minimize the development of LVH," Barouch says. "This has tremendous clinical implications -- LVH is a big problem, particularly among obese patients."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Natural Hormone Could Reverse Heart Damage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030813071126.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2003, August 13). Natural Hormone Could Reverse Heart Damage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030813071126.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Natural Hormone Could Reverse Heart Damage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030813071126.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins