Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Treating Heart Failure With A Gas

Date:
November 13, 2008
Source:
Emory University
Summary:
At low concentrations, the toxic gas hydrogen sulfide protects the hearts of mice from heart failure, scientists have found. The research suggests that doctors could use hydrogen sulfide to treat humans with heart failure.

At low concentrations, the toxic gas hydrogen sulfide protects the hearts of mice from heart failure, scientists at Emory University School of Medicine have found.

Their findings, presented Nov. 11 at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions conference in New Orleans, suggest that doctors could use hydrogen sulfide to treat humans with heart failure.

Best known for its rotten-egg smell, hydrogen sulfide can pose a deadly threat to miners or sewer workers. However, scientists have recently found that enzymes within the body produce the gas in small, physiological amounts, with multiple beneficial effects such as regulating blood pressure and attenuating inflammation.

David Lefer, PhD, professor of surgery at Emory University School of Medicine, and his team created a model of heart failure in mice by blocking their left coronary arteries either temporarily for an hour or permanently, causing part of their heart muscles to die. Hydrogen sulfide was administered intravenously once a day for a week.

John Calvert, PhD, assistant professor of surgery working with Lefer, presented the findings at the AHA Meeting. "Our results show that hydrogen sulfide can blunt the impact of heart failure on heart function and mortality in a mouse model of heart failure," Calvert says.

Four weeks after artery blockage, mice treated with hydrogen sulfide had an ejection fraction, a measure of heart function, about a third larger than controls (36 compared to 27 percent). He and his colleagues also found similar effects in mice engineered to make more of an enzyme that generates hydrogen sulfide.

Heart failure, a leading cause of hospitalization for the elderly, describes a situation when the heart muscle cannot pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. Previous injury to the heart muscle from a heart attack, obesity, diabetes or high blood pressure are all contributing factors.

In a separate presentation, Calvert (Monday, Nov. 10, 10 a.m. ET) presented experimental data on how hydrogen sulfide works in the heart. The gas appears to stimulate heart muscle cells to produce their own antioxidants and molecules that stave off programmed cell death, a response to the loss of blood flow.

Both Calvert and Lefer are based at Carlyle Fraser Heart Center at Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta. Some of the research was performed at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, with Susheel Gundewar, Saurabh Jha and John Elrod.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association and by a research grant from the biotechnology firm Ikaria Holdings. Lefer is a paid consultant for Ikaria, which is developing technology for hydrogen sulfide delivery.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Emory University. "Treating Heart Failure With A Gas." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081111112059.htm>.
Emory University. (2008, November 13). Treating Heart Failure With A Gas. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081111112059.htm
Emory University. "Treating Heart Failure With A Gas." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081111112059.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. 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