DEC 23, 2018 11:22 PM PST

Type 2 Diabetes Drug May Treat Heart Failure Syndrome

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

A drug used in the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, by the name of Metformin, may soon be used to treat heart failure syndrome with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), a diagnosis that by year 2020 is predicted to affect 8% of people 65 or older. The study was carried out by the University of Arizona and shows that metformin was observed to relax a key protein present in the cardiac muscle known as titin—a protein that holds a significant role in allowing the heart to fill with blood prior to pumping it around the body.

Learn more about the anatomy of the human heart:

The condition of HFpEF involves the stiffness of the left ventricle which reduces the blood supply to the body despite proper contraction. HFpEF occurs in about half of all heart failure patients and is more common in women with risk factors including old age, hypertension, and obesity. As of now, no drugs are currently available for the treatment of HFpEF.

However, results of the study published in the Journal of General Physiology, concludes that metformin may soon be an effective therapeutic for HFpEF because it increases the left ventricular dilation and reduces the rate of heart failure in diabetic patients. The observations were seen in model mice with HFpEF-like symptoms that were given the drug. Metformin acts on titin to ultimately relax the left ventricle. Naturally, titin allows the cardiac muscle to recoil after stretching. Specifically, the drug adds phosphate groups on the titin causing it to become more complaint and allowing the heart muscle as whole to do the same.

Metformin is currently used for the management of Type 2 Diabetes. Now, research is suggesting it is a possible therapeutic for heart failure syndrome with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).

Credit: DiabetesSelfManagement.com

"We therefore conclude that metformin is a potential therapy for patients with HFpEF," says Henk L. Granzier at the Sarver Heart Center of the University of Arizona. "Because the drug is already approved and well tolerated in humans, using it to target titin stiffness presents a unique opportunity for immediate translation to the clinic."

Source: Journal of General Physiology, Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
JUN 16, 2020
Microbiology
Dexamethasone Hailed as Effective COVID-19 Treatment
JUN 16, 2020
Dexamethasone Hailed as Effective COVID-19 Treatment
The pandemic virus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, has killed more than 438,000 people worldwide since it emerged lat ...
JUN 10, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
A Highly Targeted Cancer Therapeutic
JUN 10, 2020
A Highly Targeted Cancer Therapeutic
A study led by researchers at USC School of Pharmacy discusses a way to engineer drugs that highly target malignant tiss ...
JUL 02, 2020
Cardiology
Managing the Mitochondria After a Heart Attack
JUL 02, 2020
Managing the Mitochondria After a Heart Attack
Heart attacks are an unfortunately common occurrence across the country. One of the biggest consequences of a heart atta ...
JUL 17, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Could Low-Dose Radiation Therapy Treat COVID-19?
JUL 17, 2020
Could Low-Dose Radiation Therapy Treat COVID-19?
Research from a century ago points towards the potential of low-dose radiation therapy (LDRT) for treating pneumonia. Ev ...
JUL 29, 2020
Cancer
Regulating Apoptosis in Prostate Cancer
JUL 29, 2020
Regulating Apoptosis in Prostate Cancer
Cancer treatments tend to work in one of a few ways. They can target the immune system, prevent cancer proliferation and ...
AUG 06, 2020
Immunology
Resetting the Body's Danger Sensor
AUG 06, 2020
Resetting the Body's Danger Sensor
The human body has a sophisticated danger-sensing mechanism that alerts the immune system when something is not right. T ...
Loading Comments...