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Medicineworld.org: Placental Growth Factor May Help Body Repair Heart Attack Damage

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Placental Growth Factor May Help Body Repair Heart Attack Damage

Placental Growth Factor May Help Body Repair Heart Attack Damage
Heart attack patients produce higher levels of a natural substance in the body that plays a role in the growth of new blood vessels and this over-expression of placental growth factor (PlGF) may help reduce damage to the heart muscle, as per a new study in the April 18, 2006, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

"Because the degree of PlGF production released from the heart after a heart attack correlated with the improvement of cardiac function, we think PlGF becomes a potential therapy of myocardial infarction. Furthermore, prior studies have shown that PlGF enhances angiogenesis and arteriogenesis in ischemic tissue, also PlGF appears to promote mobilization of flt-1-positive hematopoietic stem cells from bone marrow to the peripheral circulation. We have started further experiments to evaluate this hypothesis," said Shiro Uemura, M.D. from the Nara Medical University in Kashihara, Japan.

The researchers, including first author Hajime Iwama, M.D., compared 55 heart attack patients to 43 control subjects. The heart attack patients had significantly higher levels of PlGF than the healthy subjects. Also, the patients with higher levels of PlGF three days after a heart attack had lower left ventricular ejection fractions, indicating more heart muscle damage. The scientists wrote that it is likely that the degree of injury is a key determinant of how much PlGF the body produces.

Dr. Uemura said it appears that PlGF is involved in the healing process after a heart attack, including the mobilization of stem cells.

"From these results, it seems likely that cardiac production of PlGF promoted the mobilization of bone marrow derived monocytes, possibly including endothelial progenitor cells, which might be involved in tissue repair of injured myocardium," he said.

The scientists also performed an experiment on laboratory mice. They found that in mice that underwent a procedure that interrupted coronary blood flow, similar to what happens during a heart attack, PlGF levels shot up to 23 times the levels seen in control mice.

Eventhough the scientists say their results suggest that PlGF should be studied as a potential heart attack therapy, they pointed out that studies of a similar substance, called VEGF, produced some disappointing results. Eventhough early studies indicated that VEGF could spur the development of new blood vessels (angiogenesis), a number of of the new blood vessels did not work properly.

"The possibility of VEGF therapy for heart attack has been extensively studied because of its established angiogenic capacity, but prior in vivo studies with VEGF gene or recombinant VEGF protein were not always successful in the preservation of ventricular function because of the development of non-functioning or unstable capillary vessels. Conversely, PlGF is previously reported to enhance not only capillary, but also collateral formation in ischemic tissue. As per our observation in this study, we speculate that PlGF becomes the alternative molecule to enhance tissue repair after acute myocardial infarction," Dr. Uemura said.

The American College of Cardiology, a 33,000-member nonprofit professional medical society and teaching institution, is dedicated to fostering optimal cardiovascular care and disease prevention through professional education, promotion of research, leadership in the development of standards and guidelines, and the formulation of health care policy.



Posted by: Daniel    Source




Did you know?
Heart attack patients produce higher levels of a natural substance in the body that plays a role in the growth of new blood vessels and this over-expression of placental growth factor (PlGF) may help reduce damage to the heart muscle, as per a new study in the April 18, 2006, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Medicineworld.org: Placental Growth Factor May Help Body Repair Heart Attack Damage

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