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Super charging heart hormones

Tuesday 6 October 2020 1:06pm

Dr Nicola Scott and Associate Professor Miriam Rademaker of the CHI’s Preclinical Lab have won funding from the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation (CMRF; $109,252) and the Heart Foundation ($154,802), to investigate how to maximize the effects of heart hormones – the natriuretic peptides - that act favourably on blood pressure and the kidneys, lessen heart failure symptoms and slow down its progression.

Nicola & Miriam  image 2020Dr Nicola Scott (left) and Associate Professor Miriam Rademaker

Dr Scott and Associate Professor Rademaker are working to find ways to increase the effectiveness of these protective hormones. Their work will look at comparing and combining a number of approaches that enhance either natriuretic peptides levels or their actions. This includes reducing the impact of the enzyme neprilysin, which breaks down the natriuretic peptides, as well as another enzyme called phosphodiesterase-9 (PDE9), which acts to reduce down-stream actions of these hormones.

The two researchers said that they aim to compare, for the first time, the effectiveness of inhibition of enzymes PDE9 versus neprilysin as heart failure therapies, and whether their combined administration may have added benefits.

“These studies will produce highly original information and may lead to a novel treatment strategy for this disease,” Scott said.