Does too much oesteopontin cause left ventricular hypertrophy?
Investigation of osteopontin as a candidate gene for left ventricular hypertrophy
Martin McBride (lead researcher)
Glasgow, University of
Start date: 01 May 2014 (Duration 3 years)
Dr Martin McBride and co-workers at the University of Glasgow are investigating the underlying causes of left ventricular hypertrophy, where there is enlargement of the muscle in the left bottom chamber of the heart. Left ventricular hypertrophy begins as a compensatory response to conditions that put stress on the heart– such as high blood pressure.
Although at first this increase in the size of the heart is protective, in the long run it can disrupt electrical activity in the heart, potentially leading to abnormal rhythm disturbances, and it can also lead to heart failure.
The researchers are particularly interested in the activity of a protein called osteopontin because they believe that too much osteopontin in heart muscle may cause hypertrophy. To try to confirm this, the researchers will study rats that do not have the gene that controls the production of osteopontin. They will look at the effects of this on the size and function of the rats’ heart.
Furthermore, they will investigate what happens when too much osteopontin is produced. These findings will be important to uncover the importance of osteopontin in the onset of hypertrophy and how controlling its levels or activity might become a new way to treat this condition.
||01 May 2014
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