A coordinated response to cardiac stress

Myocardial hypertrophy, a thickening of the heart muscle, is an adaptation that occurs with increased stress on the heart, such as high blood pressure. As the heart muscle expands, it also requires greater blood flow to maintain access to oxygen and nutrients, necessitating an expansion of the cardiac vasculature.

In this issue of the , Daniela Tirziu and researchers at Yale University identified a molecular mechanism by which the growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) and growth are coordinated.

Using a mouse model of myocardial hypertrophy, Tirziu and colleagues determined that nitric oxide triggers the destruction of a protein known as RGS4.

Nitric oxide typically drives physiological changes associated with the relaxation of blood vessels, while RGS4 attenuates the activity of a cellular signaling pathway that promotes cardiac growth.

These findings reveal how increases in heart muscle and are coordinated, linking changes in vasculature to changes in heart size.

More information: NO triggers RGS4 degradation to coordinate angiogenesis and cardiomyocyte growth, doi:10.1172/JCI65112

Related Stories

Research uncovers new steps on pathway to enlarged heart

date Oct 23, 2008

Researchers have new insight into the mechanisms that underlie a pathological increase in the size of the heart. The research, published by Cell Press in the October 24th issue of the journal Molecular Cell, may lead to the ...

Hormone reduces risk of heart failure from chemotherapy

date Aug 04, 2011

Recent studies have shown that the heart contains cardiac stem cells that can contribute to regeneration and healing during disease and aging. However, little is known about the molecules and pathways that regulate these ...

Recommended for you

A-fib recurrence common five years after ablation

date Apr 17, 2015

(HealthDay)—Most patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and systolic heart failure who undergo ablation have AF recurrence at five years, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of ...

Applied physics helps decipher the causes of sudden death

date Apr 17, 2015

Sudden cardiac death accounts for approximately 10% of natural deaths, most of which are due to ventricular fibrillation. Each year, it causes 300,000 deaths in the United States and 20,000 in Spain. Researchers have demonstrated ...

Cognitive problems are common after cardiac arrest

date Apr 17, 2015

Half of all patients who survive a cardiac arrest experience problems with cognitive functions such as memory and attention. This has been shown by a major international study led from Lund University. Surprisingly, however, ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.