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Heart Cell Damage Prevented By Natural Protein

by Medindia Content Team on November 20, 2007 at 3:53 PM
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Heart Cell Damage Prevented By Natural Protein

A report in the journal Cell Death and Differentiation states that a naturally occurring protein has been found to prevent heart cell damage after a heart attack in mice. The findings come from a team of researchers from Bristol Heart Institute.

Writing about their findings in the journal Cell Death and Differentiation, the scientists expressed hopes that the treatment might work on humans too.

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During the study, Dr. Costanza Emanueli and her colleagues injected the gene for Nerve growth factor (NGF) into the hearts of rats having a heart attack.

The treatment stopped heart cells from dying, the researchers said.

"This is the first time that a pro-survival effect of NGF in the heart has been found," the BBC quoted Dr. Emanueli as saying.
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"Some other growth factors are already used clinically to treat different diseases, and our study shows that NGF may be a novel way of protecting the heart from further damage following a heart attack," she added.

Professor Jeremy Pearson of the British Heart Foundation, which provided funding for the work, said: "Dr Emanueli's research opens up the exciting and unexpected possibility of helping to repair damaged hearts by using a natural factor previously only thought to help nerves grow."

Source: ANI
KAR/P
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