Researcher finds a new role for the benefits of oxygen

October 4, 2013, Dartmouth Medical School

In a study published in published in EMBO Molecular Medicine, a Dartmouth researcher found that dying heart cells are kept alive with spikes of oxygen.

During a attack when the flow of -rich blood to a section of the heart is interrupted, and not quickly restored, heart muscle begins dying. Deprived of oxygen and other essential nutrients, cell death continues occurring over a period of time leading to progressive loss of heart function and .

Current therapies are not effective at limiting cell loss—they only slow down the progression of congestive heart failure.

Periannan Kuppusamy, PhD, professor of radiology at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, found that dying still contain enough oxygen for metabolism, and additional short-term spikes of oxygen keep the cells alive and active.

His research team used an animal model of and discovered that daily administration of a higher concentration of oxygen for a short period of time each day induced spikes in myocardial oxygenation, which prevented myocardial injury.

"We all know that oxygen is crucial for survival, but it is intriguing to know that the same oxygen can be used like a drug to treat disease," Kuppusamy says.

Curious about the molecular mechanism of oxygen in treating myocardial injury, he began examining the effect of oxygen on p53, a transcription factor that regulates cell cycle and triggers programmed . To his surprise he saw the 'oxygen spikes' altering the function of p53 from a death-inducing protein, to promoting transcription of genes that help dying cardiac cells survive.

Kuppusamy sees a link between the results of the present study to the age-old practice of breathing exercises for human well-being. He says, "Controlled breathing can increase tissue oxygenation, and if practiced on a daily basis, can lead to suppression of disease progression."

His research at Dartmouth also focusses on the effect of oxygen in cancer therapy.

Explore further: No evidence to support giving oxygen to people having a heart attack, research shows

More information: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10 … m.201202055/abstract

Related Stories

No evidence to support giving oxygen to people having a heart attack, research shows

October 1, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—For 100 years inhaled oxygen has been a standard treatment for those with a suspected or confirmed heart attack. The latest research, was led by academics from City University London and the University ...

A coordinated response to cardiac stress

March 1, 2013
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 ...

Blood pressure cuff may save lives in patients with acute heart attack

September 20, 2013
In patients with an acute heart attack, remote ischemic conditioning – intermittent inflation of a blood pressure cuff to cut off blood flow to the arm during transportation to hospital for acute balloon dilatation – ...

New compound could protect from post-heart attack tissue damage

May 27, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—A chemical compound designed and created at the University of Otago may hold great promise for reducing tissue damage following heart attack, stroke or major surgery, according to research published today ...

Compound developed by scientists protects heart cells during and after attack

February 7, 2013
Using two different compounds they developed, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have been able to show in animal models that inhibiting a specific enzyme protects heart cells and ...

Recommended for you

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

January 18, 2018
T cells play a key role in the body's immune response against pathogens. As a new class of therapeutic approaches, T cells are being harnessed to fight cancer, promising more precise, longer-lasting mitigation than traditional, ...

Weight flux alters molecular profile, study finds

January 17, 2018
The human body undergoes dramatic changes during even short periods of weight gain and loss, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Secrets of longevity protein revealed in new study

January 17, 2018
Named after the Greek goddess who spun the thread of life, Klotho proteins play an important role in the regulation of longevity and metabolism. In a recent Yale-led study, researchers revealed the three-dimensional structure ...

The HLF gene protects blood stem cells by maintaining them in a resting state

January 17, 2018
The HLF gene is necessary for maintaining blood stem cells in a resting state, which is crucial for ensuring normal blood production. This has been shown by a new research study from Lund University in Sweden published in ...

Magnetically applied MicroRNAs could one day help relieve constipation

January 17, 2018
Constipation is an underestimated and debilitating medical issue related to the opioid epidemic. As a growing concern, researchers look to new tools to help patients with this side effect of opioid use and aging.

Researchers devise decoy molecule to block pain where it starts

January 16, 2018
For anyone who has accidentally injured themselves, Dr. Zachary Campbell not only sympathizes, he's developing new ways to blunt pain.

0 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.