How to trick your heart into thinking you exercise: cardiotrophin improves heart health and repairs damage in lab models

Posted on Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Doctors in white lab coats pose for a picture in a scientific laboratory

Front: Dr. Duncan Stewart, Dr. Pasan Fernando, Yupu Deng. Back: Dr. Lynn Megeney, Jonathan Weldrick, Dr. Patrick Burgon

Researchers have discovered that a protein called cardiotrophin 1 (CT1) can trick the heart into growing in a healthy way and pumping more blood, just as it does in response to exercise and pregnancy. They show that this good kind of heart growth is very different from the harmful enlargement of the heart that occurs during heart failure. They also show that CT1 can repair heart damage and improve blood flow in animal models of heart failure. The results are published in Cell Research. The research team is from The Ottawa Hospital, the University of Ottawa, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Carleton University. 

Heart failure is a leading cause of death and disability in high-income countries and a growing problem around the world. It occurs when the heart can’t pump enough blood through the body, often because a heart attack has damaged the heart muscle tissue.

For more information please read the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute release.

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