Researchers move closer to a cure for a deadly cardiovascular disease
Evangelos Michelakis and Gopinath Sutendra
(Medical Xpress) -- A multidisciplinary research team in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta has taken a big step towards understanding the cause and potential cure for a deadly cardiovascular disease.
Evangelos Michelakis, a cardiologist, and his graduate student Gopinath Sutendra in the Department of Medicine, along with fellow researchers in the faculty and collaborators from Laval and Yale universities, found that a protein called Nogo is critical in the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension.
This condition causes high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs and leads to heart failure and death. Available therapies may alleviate some symptoms but they cannot reverse the disease and prolong survival of the patients.
Mice with pulmonary arterial hypertension had very high levels of Nogo in their lung arteries, but animal models that were genetically lacking Nogo were completely resistant to developing the disease, said Michelakis. New therapies are planned in other diseases where Nogo is important, like spinal-cord injury. Such therapies could be applied to pulmonary arterial hypertension.
In addition to work done in laboratory models, the research team found that the level of Nogo was also high in arteries of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. Michelakis took samples from 41 patients at his pulmonary hypertension clinic and compared it to 26 patients who didnt have the disease.
We showed that Nogo levels were higher in pulmonary arterial hypertension, said Michelakis. We also found the sicker the patient was, the higher the levels. This might be an important biomarker for the disease. A lab test could show us how severe the disease is or whether the disease is going to get worse.
This is a very satisfying step forward, according to Sutendra, because it creates a platform on which several experimental therapies might be developed because many scientists are studying Nogo.
We believe that by bringing along these [spinal cord and neurology] colleagues into the field of pulmonary hypertension, well contribute to accelerating knowledge and discovery of new therapies in this disease, said Michelakis.
For Sutendra personally, this research is significant as he works towards his PhD.
This is personally very exciting, because under Dr. Michelakiss supervision I was able to have my name put on some really good papers that will really change the way doctors in this field will look at treating their patients, said Sutendra.
Currently the Michelakis lab is testing molecules that can inhibit Nogo. They are having preliminary success in their laboratory models.
As soon as we complete these studies and we publish them then we can try them in humans, said Michelakis. A lot of these things we can try have already been used in humans for other conditions.
Co-authors of this paper from the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry include graduate students Peter Dromparis and Al Haromy; Prof. Jean Vance and Assistant Prof. Michael McMurtry from the Department of Medicine; and Marek Michalak, the facultys vice-dean of research and a professor in the Department of Biochemistry.
This discovery builds on work published last year by Michelakis and Sutendra, in the journal Science Translational Medicine, which showed their metabolism is altered in the lung arteries of mice and patients with pulmonary hypertension. The researchers latest findings were published in the June 22 edition of Science Translational Medicine and show for the first time that Nogo causes suppression of mitochondrial function in cells, and could explain why metabolism is altered in lung arteries. These findings could be important to many other conditions where Nogo is involved, including cancer or diseases of the nervous system.
Michelakis has attracted international attention for other work he discovered that dichloroacetate, or DCA, a relatively non-toxic, inexpensive pharmaceutical, could have the potential to treat some types of cancer. This discovery has challenged a dogma that had dominated the field for decades. Michelakis was able to alter the metabolism of tumours (change the way tumours generate energy) by targeting the mitochondria, the energy-producing units in cells. In doing so, he and his team were able to shrink some types of cancer tumours.
Provided by University of Alberta
- Medical researchers at U of Alberta discover potential treatment for pulmonary hypertension Aug 11, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- New approach to pulmonary hypertension shows promise Jul 03, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Pulmonary hypertension a silent killer Feb 09, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Small molecule offers big hope against cancer Jan 16, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers reverse pulmonary arterial hypertension in mouse models Oct 25, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Calculating Steam Pressure in Closed Container
5 hours ago I am trying to calculate the volume of liquid water i need to place in a sealed container in order to obtain 10 psi of steam pressure in that closed...
Learning curve of Electromagnetism?
10 hours ago I'm taking a first year physics course and have been having a little trouble with the basics of newtons laws and forces and whatnot, though nothing...
thin glass in liquid
11 hours ago I have one question about optics because I start interested in it. If an object is placed a distance p from a thin glass lens (index of refraction...
How many joules expended for a push up?
14 hours ago Just wondering if any of you can do the calculation that well approximates the amount of joules expended by a push up.
force to keep the folding doors
14 hours ago Hello, I would like to ask you to calculate the force F, which needed to keep the folding doors in this position. I would like to know what is the...
Confusion regarding direction of kinetic friction on inclined plane.
15 hours ago *please help! * The formula for kinetic friction acting on a sliding body is μkN When the body is sliding with constant velocity down an...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
(HealthDay)—Blood levels of free fatty acids are associated with insulin resistance during young adulthood and cardiovascular risk factors in later adulthood, according to a study published online May 13 ...
Cardiology May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
An experimental, inexpensive iPhone application transmitted diagnostic heart images faster and more reliably than emailing photo images, according to a research study presented at the American Heart Association's Quality ...
Cardiology May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a procedure traditionally used during cardiac surgeries and in the ICU that functions as an artificial replacement for a patient's heart and lungs, has also been used to resuscitate ...
Cardiology May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Age has little to do with how patients should be treated after suffering a stroke, according to new research from the University of Georgia.
Cardiology May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Depressed middle-aged women have almost double the risk of having a stroke, according to research published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Cardiology May 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
An increasing number of U.S. children are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that require interventions to resolve, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
14 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
The latest makeover to a massive psychiatric tome honored by some, reviled by others and even called the "Bible" of mental disorders is being released Saturday with a host of new changes.
11 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new case of the deadly coronavirus has been detected in Saudi Arabia where 15 people have already died after contracting it, the health ministry announced on Saturday on its Internet website.
12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Big names in medicine are set to give an upbeat assessment of the war on AIDS on Tuesday, 30 years after French researchers identified the virus that causes the disease.
22 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
For combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, 'fear circuitry' in the brain never rests
Chronic trauma can inflict lasting damage to brain regions associated with fear and anxiety. Previous imaging studies of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have shown that these brain regions can over-or ...
23 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
A ground-breaking advance in colonoscopy technology signals the future of colorectal care, according to research presented today at Digestive Disease Week(DDW). Additional research focuses on optimizing the minimal withdrawal ...
14 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0