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Image of the Day: Un-break My Heart

A failing heart is easily distinguished from a healthy one by numerous tell-tale signs, including its slender, stretched-out walls, increased size, and pooled blood clots.

Aug 8, 2017
The Scientist Staff

Healthy (left) and failing (right) mouse hearts. A blood clot noticeably pools in the top right chamber of the failing heart.GRUETER LABORATORY, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HEALTH CARE Researchers recently unearthed gene expression patterns in heart tissues from a mouse model of heart failure that were noticeable before the mice’s hearts began to show symptoms. These patterns mimicked those observed in diseased human heart cells.

“In terms of disease progression, heart failure is the end stage,” says senior author Chad Grueterin a news release. “Our study suggests that the transition, or ‘switch,’ from a stressed, enlarged heart to a failing heart is key. Looking ahead, hopefully we’ll be able to test whether a drug can block that switch from occurring.”

See D.D. Hall et al., “Ectopic expression of Cdk8 induces eccentric hypertrophy and heart failure,” JCI Insight2:e92476, 2017.

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