About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Lower Levels of MicroRNA 29 Protects from Cardiac Fibrosis, Says Study

by Anjali Aryamvally on November 24, 2017 at 11:43 AM
Font : A-A+

Lower Levels of MicroRNA 29 Protects from Cardiac Fibrosis, Says Study

Cardiac fibrosis involves an increase of connective tissue in the cardiac muscle, causing a loss of function. MicroRNA 29 (miR-29) plays an important role in the formation of tissue fibrosis, a research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has discovered. They occur less frequently when miR-29 is suppressed in cardiac muscle cells. Older studies had suggested that it was in fact low levels of miR-29 that caused fibrosis. The new insights point to potential new approaches for developing drugs against fibrotic diseases.

Not long ago, microRNAs were not even known to exist. In recent years, however, it has become increasingly clear that these molecules play an important role in the function of our cells. For example, they determine whether certain proteins are formed. One reason why they are seen as potentially useful in the development of new drugs is that they are relatively easy to synthesize. Moreover, for every microRNA molecule, a corresponding anti-microRNA can be produced that binds and thereby neutralizes it. Universities and research institutes all over the world are currently studying which microRNAs have major effects in the body along with the underlying mechanisms.

Advertisement


Protecting against pathological changes

The team headed by Stefan Engelhardt, Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at TUM, is studying the function of microRNAs in the heart. In an earlier study, the scientists identified miR-29 as a molecule possibly associated with pathological changes in the cardiac muscle. Using a mouse model, they have now shown that animals with extremely low levels of miR-29 in their cells from birth are significantly less susceptible to cardiac fibroses and hypertrophy, i.e. pathological growth of the cardiac muscle.
Advertisement

A similar effect was seen when miR-29 was inhibited with drugs, namely a specific anti-miR. "In further experiments we were also able to show that miR-29 was responsible for this effect in particular in cardiac muscle cells, the myocytes," explains Yassine Sassi, first author of the study along with Petros Avramopoulos. The authors believe that miR-29 controls the activity of a certain chain of molecular signals in organs known as the Wnt signalling pathway. In healthy cells, this signalling pathway is largely silenced. But if Wnt signalling is activated by stress, the effects include the production of excess connective tissue.

Differences compared with earlier studies

"Another interesting result of our study was that we were unable to identify negative effects on the body in the absence of miR-29," says Petros Avramopoulos. Studies by other teams had suggested that it was not a higher, but rather a lower, miR-29 level that may lead to fibroses in such organs as the liver, lungs and kidneys. "A possible reason for this discrepancy is that, in our experiments, we assessed the function of endogenous miR-29 and conducted part of our studies in an intact organism," explains Stefan Engelhardt. "Other teams relied mainly on bioinformation analysis and cell cultures or the effects of an artificially elevated miR-29 level."

He now plans to use the results of his team's research as a starting point to investigate further effects of miR-29. "Cardiac fibrosss is dangerous and has so far been very difficult to treat," says Engelhardt. "We are currently looking into whether anti-miR-29, the synthetic counterpart of miR-29, can help not only to prevent this process, but also to reverse it if cardiac fibrosis has already established." Another challenge is to develop methods for the targeted delivery of future miR-29-based drugs to the cardiac muscle cells.



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Turmeric: Magic Ingredient to Keep you Healthy in Winter
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Palpitations And Arrhythmias Statins Cardiomyopathy 

Recommended Reading
How to Prevent Cardiac Fibrosis Using Bile Acids
Cardiac fibrosis itself is caused by a variety of factors including high blood pressure, overwork .....
Peptide, Known to be Anti-Fibrotic in Skin, also Reverses Cardiac Fibrosis
Cardiac fibrosis was not only halted but also reversed by a caveolin-1 surrogate peptide (CSD) in a ...
CCN5 Protein can Reverse Deadly Heart Condition
The CCN5 protein may be a novel platform for the development of anti-cardiac fibrosis therapies, ......
Pioneering Discovery Could Lead to Preventive Treatment for Sudden Cardiac Death
Now, a team of scientists has used some of David Warshaw's earlier findings to develop a possible .....
Cardiomyopathy
Cardiomyopathy weakens the heart muscles and the heart loses strength to pump blood throughout the b...
Palpitations And Arrhythmias
Palpitations are unpleasant sensation of one’s own heartbeat....
Statins
Statins are new wonder drugs that are proving to be efficacious, not merely in relieving symptoms bu...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use