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New treatment approach for pulmonary hypertension: slowing harmful remodeling processes in the heart

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As pulmonary hypertension progresses, pathological remodeling processes occur in the right ventricle in response to the increased pressure load. This impairs the heart's function and significantly affects the patient's chances of survival. Apart from heart-lung transplantation, there are currently no specific treatments to prevent right ventricular failure. According to results from DZL researchers at the Giessen site, a molecular signaling pathway plays an important role when the right ventricle develops and is also involved in remodeling processes in the adult heart.

Improved heart function

Using molecular, biochemical, and pharmacological approaches, the research team led by Prof. Soni Savai Pullamsetti of the University of Giessen and Marburg Lung Center (UGMLC) investigated the role of the so-called Wnt signaling pathway in remodeling processes in the right ventricle.

When the Wnt signaling pathway is activated, it triggers restructuring in the right heart, known as remodeling. If the scientists inhibited individual components of the signaling pathway, this reduced processes involved in the remodeling processes, such as collagen synthesis. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of the pathway in animal models improved the function of the right ventricle. The signaling pathway thus offers new targets for drug treatment of right heart failure in pulmonary hypertension.

Original publication

Nayakanti SR, Friedrich A, Sarode P, et al. Targeting Wnt-ß-catenin-FOSL signaling ameliorates right ventricular remodeling. Circ Res. 2023;132(11):1468-1485. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.122.321725.

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