High BP-low energy combo likely recipe for heart failurePublished On: Sat, Aug 11th, 2007 | Cell Biology | By BioNews
Aug 11 : A new study has found that heart failure in hypertensive or high blood pressure patients might be a result of impaired energy production in heart muscle.
The study asserted that a molecular factor a protein called estrogen-related receptor alpha (ERR alpha), involved in maintaining the heart’s energy supply, could become a key to new approaches to prevent or treat heart failure.
ERR alpha helps the heart keep up with energy-draining conditions like high blood pressure, which makes the heart work harder to pump blood.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers led by Daniel P. Kelly, M.D at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
As part of the study to study the effect of ERR, researchers conducted experiments in mice.
The study found that mice born without any ERR alpha developed symptoms of heart failure when their hearts were forced to pump against high pressure. The hearts of normal mice took that pressure overload in stride and stayed healthy.
In mice that lacked ERR alpha and that were exposed to pressure overload, the researchers observed signs of early heart failure: the mouse hearts dilated and didn’t contract effectively, the heart walls thinned, fibrous connective tissue accumulated and some heart cells died. They also saw that the hearts had depleted fuel reserves.
Researchers suggested that changes in the ability of the heart to produce energy lead to heart failure in some cases.
“ERR and some of its partners in the cell are a little like puppeteers controlling the expression of genes for energy production,” Kelly said.
The findings of the study were published in the July issue of Cell Metabolism. (ANI)