Tuesday December 11, 2018

Common Chemotherapy Drug may Lead to Heart Failure: Study

The drug also caused a wasting syndrome in the heart and the spleen

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A chemotherapy drug, widely used for treatment of ovarian, bladder, lung, thyroid and stomach cancers, has the potential to cause heart toxicity that can lead to congestive heart failure, a study led by a professor of Indian origin, has found.

In the study, conducted on mice, doxorubicin induced fibrosis in the heart, increased the programmed cell death called apoptosis and impaired the pumping of the heart.

The drug also caused a wasting syndrome in the heart and the spleen.

The study, led by Ganesh Halade, Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama in the US, found that disruption of the metabolism that controls immune responses in the spleen and heart is vital for heart maintenance, repair and control of inflammation.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Physiology — Heart and Circulatory Physiology, the team used a mouse model to study the effect of doxorubicin on immunometabolism — the study of how metabolism regulates immune cell function.

A dysregulated immunometabolism impairs resolution of inflammation, and chronic, non-resolving inflammation can lead to advanced heart failure.

heart disease
Representational image. (IANS)

Halade’s team found that doxorubicin is also involved in the deleterious response to the spleen.

First, doxorubicin was shown to induce irreversible dysregulation that lowered the levels of enzymes in the left ventricle of the heart, which in turn reduced the levels of bioactive lipids mediators produced by these enzymes, mediators that usually would help resolve inflammation.

In the spleen, doxorubicin also poisoned a special group of marginal zone immune cells called CD169+ macrophages, causing the spleen to diminish in size.

It also caused an imbalance of the cell-signalling molecules called chemokines and cytokines, and this imbalance suggested suppressed defence capacity of spleen-leukocyte immune cells.

Specifically, the researchers found decreased levels of tumour necrosis factor-alpha in the spleen, and decreased levels of the immune-cells reparative marker MRC-1, also known as CD206, in the heart.

Thus, doxorubicin appears to have a splenocardiac impact in this non-cancer model, Halade said. (IANS)

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Here’s How Turmeric Helps Heart Failure Patients

The results showed that the expression of Nrf2 increased and levels of antioxidant enzymes improved in the animals with heart failure that were given curcumin

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Indian-American researchers unleash turmeric's power to fight cancer
How turmeric helps heart failure patients? Find it out here. Pixabay

Curcumin — the active compound in turmeric — may repair exercise intolerance faced by patients with heart failure, suggests a new research.

People with heart failure have a reduced function of the left ventricle — the chamber of the heart that pumps blood out to the rest of the body — called reduced ejection fraction. This is linked to decreased ability to exercise.

The findings showed that curcumin treatment improved muscle function, exercise capacity in mice with heart failure and healthy controls.

Curcumin, a chemical that comes from the turmeric plant, has been used as a traditional Asian medicine for centuries, primarily to treat gastrointestinal ailments and skin wounds.

Researchers from the University of Nebraska in the US, theorised that a reduction in the normal signalling of a protein Nrf2 may play a role in the impaired expression of antioxidant enzymes.

 

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Turmeric (Wikimedia)

The antioxidant enzymes both prevent and repair damage from oxidative stress as well as improve exercise performance.

For the study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, the team gave one group of mice with heart failure daily doses of curcumin — which is known to promote activation of Nrf2 — for 12 weeks, while another group did not receive treatment.

The results showed that the expression of Nrf2 increased and levels of antioxidant enzymes improved in the animals with heart failure that were given curcumin.

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In addition, both groups that received curcumin — even the animals without heart failure — had improved exercise capacity when compared with the untreated groups, suggesting the effects of curcumin on skeletal muscle is not exclusive to heart failure.

“These data suggest that activation of Nrf2 in skeletal muscle may represent a novel therapeutic strategy to improve … quality of life” in people with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, the researchers noted. (IANS)