Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Closed Heart Surgery': Scientists Jump-start The Heart By Gene Transfer

Date:
October 7, 2009
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Scientists are reporting that gene therapy may be used to improve an ailing heart's ability to contract properly. In addition to showing gene therapy's potential for reversing the course of heart failure, it also offers a tantalizing glimpse of a day when "closed heart surgery" via gene therapy is as commonly prescribed as today's cocktail of drugs.

Human heart.
Credit: iStockphoto/Sebastian Kaulitzki

Scientists from the Universities of Michigan and Minnesota show in a research report published online in the FASEB Journal that gene therapy may be used to improve an ailing heart's ability to contract properly. In addition to showing gene therapy's potential for reversing the course of heart failure, it also offers a tantalizing glimpse of a day when "closed heart surgery" via gene therapy is as commonly prescribed as today's cocktail of drugs.

Related Articles


"We hope that our study will lead some day to the development of new genetic-based therapies for heart failure patients," said Todd J. Herron, Ph.D., one of the researchers involved in the study and research assistant professor of molecular and integrative physiology at the University of Michigan. "The advent of molecular motor-based gene transfer for the failing heart will hopefully improve cardiac function and quality of life for heart failure patients."

To make this advance, Herron and colleagues treated heart muscle cells from the failing hearts of rabbits and humans with a virus (adenovirus) modified to carry a gene which produces a protein that enables heart cells to contract normally (fast molecular motor) or a gene that becomes active in failing hearts, which is believed to be part of the body's way of coping with its perilous situation (slow molecular motor). Heart cells treated with the gene to express the fast molecular motor contracted better, while those treated with the gene to express the slow molecular motor were unaffected.

"Helping hearts heal themselves, rather than prescribing yet another drug to sustain a failing organ, would be a major advance for doctors and patients alike," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal. "Equally important, it shows that gene therapy remains one of the most promising approaches to treating the world's most common and deadliest diseases."

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart failure is a condition where the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to meet the needs of other body organs. Approximately 5 million people in the United States have heart failure, about 550,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, and more than 287,000 people in the United States die each year of heart failure. The most common causes of heart failure are coronary artery disease, hypertension or high blood pressure, and diabetes. Current treatments usually involve three to four medicines: ACE inhibitors, diuretics, digoxin, and beta blockers.

Current clinical agents and treatments focus on the amount of calcium available for contraction, which can provide short-term cardiac benefits, but are associated with an increased mortality in the long-term. Results from this study show that calcium-independent treatments could have implications for heart diseases associated with depressed heart function, due to the effectiveness of fast molecular motor gene transfer on the improved contractions of human heart muscle cells.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Todd J. Herron, Eric Devaney, Lakshmi Mundada, Erik Arden, Sharlene Day, Guadalupe Guerrero-Serna, Immanuel Turner, Margaret Westfall, and Joseph M. Metzger. Ca2 -independent positive molecular inotropy for failing rabbit and human cardiac muscle by alpha-myosin motor gene transfer. FASEB Journal, 2009; DOI: 10.1096/fj.09-140566

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "'Closed Heart Surgery': Scientists Jump-start The Heart By Gene Transfer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091005102649.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2009, October 7). 'Closed Heart Surgery': Scientists Jump-start The Heart By Gene Transfer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091005102649.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "'Closed Heart Surgery': Scientists Jump-start The Heart By Gene Transfer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091005102649.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
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