Heart failure—heart-muscle damage usually resulting from a heart attack—is a leading cause of death worldwide. During the early stages of heart failure, the body compensates by increasing peripheral resistance, i.e., by constricting peripheral blood vessels to sustain blood pressure so that blood can reach vital organs. But over time, this increased resistance (often referred to as increased vascular tone) can worsen heart failure by impairing the heart’s pumping ability.
In research involving rodent models of heart failure as well as heart failure patients, Gaetano Santulli, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues have identified intracellular calcium channels called IP3 receptors as key molecules involved in increasing vascular tone. These findings suggest that drugs targeting IP3 receptors could help prevent the progressive worsening of function that occurs as heart failure progresses. The study will be published online on February 15 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Dr. Santulli is an associate professor of medicine and of molecular pharmacology at Einstein.
Posted on: Tuesday, February 15, 2022