A newly discovered chemical pathway that helps protect heart tissue can be stimulated by two of 20 common beta-blockers, drugs that are prescribed to millions of patients who have experienced heart failure. Researchers from Duke University Medical Center tested 20 beta blockers and found that two of them—alprenolol and carvedilol—could stimulate a pathway recently found to protect heart tissue.
This finding could guide future drug development and in particular help heart failure patients, says Howard Rockman, MD, senior author of the study and chief of the Duke Cardiology Division.
“To our surprise, we found that these two beta blockers can actually stimulate the beta receptor to activate a pathway in the cell that promotes cell survival. We have the first evidence that these two drugs have greater potential to repair the heart and to protect it, and possibly even to reverse some heart damage,” Dr. Rockman said.
Release date: September 12, 2008
Source: Duke University Medical Center
Filed Under: Drug Discovery