Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Two Beta Blockers Also Protect Heart Tissue, Study Finds

Date:
September 16, 2008
Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
A newly discovered chemical pathway that helps protect heart tissue can be stimulated by two of 20 common beta-blockers, drugs that are prescribed to millions of patients who have experienced heart failure.

A newly discovered chemical pathway that helps protect heart tissue can be stimulated by two of 20 common beta-blockers, drugs that are prescribed to millions of patients who have experienced heart failure.

Researchers from Duke University Medical Center tested 20 beta blockers and found that two of them -- alprenolol and carvedilol -- could stimulate a pathway recently found to protect heart tissue.

This finding could guide future drug development and in particular help heart failure patients, says Howard Rockman, M.D., senior author of the study and chief of the Duke Cardiology Division.

"To our surprise, we found that these two beta blockers can actually stimulate the beta receptor to activate a pathway in the cell that promotes cell survival. We have the first evidence that these two drugs have greater potential to repair the heart and to protect it, and possibly even to reverse some heart damage," Dr. Rockman said.

Until now, scientists believed that all beta-blockers worked by binding to and blocking the beta-adrenergic receptor, a molecule on the cell surface that responds to the hormone adrenalin. Blocking the receptor moderates increases in heart rate and heart function that could be damaging to patients whose hearts are already overstressed.

The two beta-blockers identified by the current study also serve to stimulate a different signaling beta-arrestin pathway. Beta arrestin is a protein known as an "off-switch" for beta-adrenergic receptors. These two drugs activated a beta-arrestin pathway that produces beneficial effects in the heart tissue.

"These two drugs were found to stimulate the pathway that produces certain proteins that are protective to the heart," Rockman said.

The new study, published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was funded by that National Institutes of Health.

"Based on these findings, we hope to design drugs that strongly bind in this way and activate this pathway," Rockman said. "We call these drugs biased-ligands or super receptor blockers, because they are designed to block the harmful actions of adrenalin at the beta receptor, but at a molecular level will activate other pathways that protect the cell." Rockman and colleagues discovered the heart-protection factors in a study published last year.

He noted that carvedilol (marketed for many years as Coreg and now as available in generic forms) is known as a very effective beta blocker, but alprenolol has not been fully developed as a beta blocker drug for heart failure patients. Beta blockers now are part of a standard of care for heart failure patients, who have weakened hearts and cannot tolerate much adrenalin, which is released all day long in people as they perform any exertion, even reading an exciting novel. Every year, 400,000 new cases of heart failure are diagnosed and the number is growing as the population ages.

"The next step is to test the drugs in animals to learn which might promote protection and which might cause more negative effects," Rockman said. "Cell studies can be tricky to replicate in organisms and we will have to see what happens, but these cellular results are very exciting and encouraging and could be a boon to heart failure patients."

Other authors on the study include Il-Man Kim, Douglas Tilley, Juhsien Chen, Natasha Salazar, Erin Whalen and Jonathan Violin of the Duke Department of Medicine, in addition to Dr. Rockman, who is a professor of medicine, cell biology and molecular genetics at Duke.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Duke University Medical Center. "Two Beta Blockers Also Protect Heart Tissue, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080915121229.htm>.
Duke University Medical Center. (2008, September 16). Two Beta Blockers Also Protect Heart Tissue, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080915121229.htm
Duke University Medical Center. "Two Beta Blockers Also Protect Heart Tissue, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080915121229.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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