Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Beta-blockers can have helpful, or harmful, effect on heart

Date:
November 24, 2009
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
In a new study, researchers report that a class of heart medications called beta-blockers can have a helpful, or harmful, effect on the heart, depending on their molecular activity.

In a new study, researchers report that a class of heart medications called beta-blockers can have a helpful, or harmful, effect on the heart, depending on their molecular activity.

Related Articles


The study, which appears in the journal Circulation Research, found that beta-blockers that target both the alpha- and beta-receptors on the heart muscle offer the most benefit to cardiac patients, while those that target only the beta-receptors can actually undermine the structure and function of the heart.

Circulation Research is published by the American Heart Association.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Patients with heart disease usually have higher levels of catecholamines -- hormones that activate the beta-adrenergic receptors to stimulate cardiac muscle contraction. In this process, the heart initially grows to become a more efficient pump. Unfortunately, the researchers found, this growth also predisposes the heart to eventual failure.

Traditionally, beta-blockers targeting the beta-adrenergic receptors have been utilized as a long-term therapy for heart failure.

Interestingly, blocking adrenergic receptors has been widely used clinically for nearly 50 years without a full understanding of the molecular consequences of these drugs, said co-author and graduate student David Cervantes. Kevin Xiang, a professor of molecular and integrative physiology at the University of Illinois led the study. The research team also included researcher Catherine Crosby.

A previous study in 2003 showed that the beta-blocker carvedilol produced a greater survival benefit than another drug, metoprolol tartrate. Carvedilol targets both the beta- and alpha-adrenergic receptors.

The new study unveiled an elegant intracellular signaling system in which beta-receptor activation modulates alpha-adrenergic signaling. It showed that blocking the beta-receptor alone promotes cardiac remodeling via growth of cardiac fibroblasts induced by alpha-adrenergic receptor signaling. The growth of fibroblasts in the heart further damages the integrity and function of the heart.

This observation suggests that the use of carvedilol in combination with inhibitors of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE inhibitors) may be of the greatest benefit to cardiac patients, and has significant clinical implications on which beta-blockers patients should take.

"I think this is really good stuff," Xiang says. "It's a surprise project. It's not what we initially intended looking into. But it's a very nice, elegant study and a very beautiful cellular mechanism. It definitely will help people along the way to understand how to further manipulate this system. Beta blockers are still the most commonly used drug for heart disease."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Beta-blockers can have helpful, or harmful, effect on heart." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091120111553.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2009, November 24). Beta-blockers can have helpful, or harmful, effect on heart. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091120111553.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Beta-blockers can have helpful, or harmful, effect on heart." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091120111553.htm (accessed March 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, March 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Ways To Celebrate National Nutrition Month

The Best Ways To Celebrate National Nutrition Month

Buzz60 (Mar. 2, 2015) Just when your New Year&apos;s Resolution is losing steam, March comes with fresh inspiration. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has some tips to incorporate into your lifestyle during National Nutrition Month. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: 1.1 Billion At Risk Of Hearing Loss, Will They Listen?

WHO: 1.1 Billion At Risk Of Hearing Loss, Will They Listen?

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) According to the World Health Organization, 1.1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss. Can this staggering number change things? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rehab Robot Helps Restore Damaged Muscles and Nerves

Rehab Robot Helps Restore Damaged Muscles and Nerves

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 1, 2015) A rehabilitation robot prototype to help restore deteriorated nerves and muscles using electromyography and computer games. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. 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:

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