Protein that can trick your heart into thinking you exercise

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Researchers in Canada have found a protein that can stimulate the heart to grow in a healthy way and pump more blood, similar to what it does in exercise and pregnancy.

When heart attack damages part of the heart muscle, the remaining muscle would try to adapt by growing bigger, but the growth can be dysfunctional when the muscle fibers grow wider without growing extra blood vessels.

A research team from The Ottawa Hospital, the University of Ottawa, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Carleton University have found a protein called cardiotrophin 1 that can trick the heart into growing more blood vessels and form longer fibers. This could increase the heart's ability to pump more blood.

"This experimental therapy is very exciting, particularly because it shows promise in treating both left and right heart failure,"Dr. Duncan Stewart, Executive Vice-President of Research at The Ottawa Hospital and co-senior author on the paper said in a press release.

There are more than 200,000 heart failure cases in the U.S. every year. Currently, the only treatment is heart transplant.

The researchers are hoping to test the protein in human patients. If the testing is successful, the treatment will become available in a number of years.

The study was published in the journal Cell Research.


RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Dysfunctional growth in heart muscle after heart attack
2. Cardiotrophin 1 stimulates healthy growth in heart muscle
3. Heart pumps more blood, similar to its response in exercise and pregnancy

VOICEOVER (in English):

"When heart attack damages part of the heart muscle, the remaining muscle would try to adapt by growing bigger, but the growth can be dysfunctional when the muscle fibers grow wider without growing extra blood vessels."

"A protein called cardiotrophin 1 can trick the heart into growing more blood vessels and form longer fibers."

"This could increase the heart's ability to pump more blood, similar to what it does in response to exercise and pregnancy."


SOURCES: The Ottawa Hospital, Cell Research, New Atlas
http://www.ohri.ca/newsroom/newsstory.asp?ID=951
http://www.nature.com/cr/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/cr201787a.html?foxtrotcallback=true
http://newatlas.com/protein-trick-heart-growth-exercise/50826/