British Heart Foundation funding awarded to Kingston University is helping to understand why heart cells die

Dr Andrew Snabaitis of the Diabetes and Cardiovascular Research Group (DCRG) was awarded one of nine grants currently funded by the British Heart Foundation.  As a new article on the BHF website says:

Heart tissue death 4 days after a heart attack

“Heart failure is a devastating condition that affects over half a million people in the UK, and there is currently no cure. It usually happens after a heart attack, when a section of heart tissue dies and no longer works properly. Scientists are working to understand how and why heart cells die. We know that a type of cell death called apoptosis is important and Dr Andrew Snabaitis has recently discovered that removing a protein known as alpha4 from heart cells can cause them to die from apoptosis.

“The BHF has now awarded his team a grant to study apoptosis in more detail using mice and rats. They will study how increasing alpha4 protein in heart cells protects against apoptosis caused by biological chemicals. They will also remove alpha4 protein from mouse hearts using a genetic modification, before studying these hearts when they are deprived of oxygen and glucose, a model for when the heart is starved of blood during a heart attack. The team will also study how these hearts respond to a model of long-term high blood pressure. This research will reveal more about the role of alpha4 protein in apoptotic cell death in the damaged heart and how this is involved in the progression to heart failure.”

Read more about the research project.

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