Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University have found that a molecule connected to progressive heart failure is found to cause permanent damage following a heart attack.
To prove this novel conclusion, the research team used gene therapy to inhibit the small protein, kinase known as G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2), and found heart muscles cells in mice were substantially protected against destruction that would otherwise occur after an induced myocardial infarction (MI), or heart attack.
These finding suggest that humans experiencing a heart attack might be helped with delivery of a therapeutic targeting inhibition of GRK2, says Walter J. Koch, Director of the Center for Translation Medicine at Jefferson.
"Our results clearly show that GRK2 promotes cell death after a heart attack, so an inhibitor of this molecule is likely beneficial in preventing permanent damage, if delivered quickly enough," he says.
The article has been published online at Circulation Research.