Tuesday August 21, 2018

New Link Found Between Alcohol, Genes And Heart Failure

The team found that the faulty titin gene may also play a role in the condition

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For the study, published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, young and old mice were fed alcohol or control diets for one month and then infected with MtbH37Rv.
For the study, published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, young and old mice were fed alcohol or control diets for one month and then infected with MtbH37Rv. Pixabay
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Even moderate level of alcohol consumption may worsen the condition of heart failure patients with a faulty versions of a gene called titin, new research has found.

Titin is crucial for maintaining the elasticity of the heart muscle. But faulty version of the gene may cause dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)– a type of heart failure where the left ventricle becomes weak causing lessening the ability to pump blood.

“Our research strongly suggests alcohol and genetics are interacting — and genetic predisposition and alcohol consumption can act together to lead to heart failure,” said study co-author James Ware from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London.

For the first part of the study, the team analysed 141 patients with a type of heart failure called alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM) — a type of heart failure due to long term alcohol abuse which may trigger because of drinking more than 70 units a week (roughly seven bottles of wine) for five years or more.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

The team found that the faulty titin gene may also play a role in the condition.

The results, published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology, showed that 13.5 per cent of ACM patients carried the mutation — much higher than the proportion of people who carry them in the general population.

Ware explained that the condition is not simply the result of alcohol poisoning, but arises from a genetic predisposition and thus can put other family members at risk as well.

He added that relatives of patients with ACM should receive assessment and heart scans to see if they unknowingly carry the faulty gene.

Also Read: Alcoholic Beverages Aren’t That Good For You As You May Have Thought

In the second part, the team analysed 716 patients with dilated cardiomyopathy – a condition that causes the heart muscle to become stretched and thin.

The team found that in patients whose DCM was caused by the faulty titin gene, even moderately increased alcohol intake (defined as drinking above the weekly recommended limit of 14 units), affected the heart’s pumping power.

“Alcohol and the heart have a complicated relationship. While moderate levels may have benefits for heart health, too much can cause serious cardiac problems. This research suggests that in people with titin-related heart failure, alcohol may worsen the condition,” explained study co-author, Paul Barton from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial. (IANS)

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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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Novel Microsoft-Apollo AI model to predict heart disease risk for Indians. Pixabay

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)