Waja Researchers work on minimizing damage from heart attack using MANF

Researchers have been studying the heart attack closely looking at its damages and what could be done to improve the patient’s condition after it. When a patient suffers from a heart attack, their body releases some biochemical processes which damage the heart. An example will be the state of a car after an accident.

That patient will have a loss of tissues that need to be reconstructed, their proteins crush and their muscles get some damage along with some intervention of flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. Considering the situation of the heart which isn’t good at its own repair, it becomes essential to find some ways to achieve this repairing task.

San Diego State University’s Heart Institute’s researchers conducted a research on the issue and came up with a protein that can make things better. They found a key protein that will reduce the harm done by the heart attack leading to improvements in survival rates and heart working for the surviving ones.

Chris Glembotski, director of SDSU Heart Institute and a molecular cardiologist, said that more the time your heart has got some damage, the worst would be the prognoses on your heart in the long term and they are studying for this aspect. Their aim is to lower the impact done by the heart attack on our heart leading to improved recovery for the patient.

Mostly after a heart failure, patients tend to get stents put in their blocked arteries to improve the flow of oxygen to your heart in the long run. But that’s not the case. Gushing of oxygen comes with its own disadvantages.

Glembotski says that when you get a stent placed in your artery, it starts stunning your heart cells inflicting damage to your heart which can’t be repaired whatsoever. They do have come up with this protein which will start minimizing the stun.

In-play comes MANF (mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor) which is a protein that helps minimize those damages to your heart and rectifies the other proteins who got misfolded. This protein’s discovery for these purposes was done by Glembotski and a research member Adrian Arrieta. MANF is one of the other 20000 proteins in our hearts. Glembotski found the potential in this protein many years back but he designated further research to Arrieta for MANF.

Arrieta induced some heart attacks on genetically modified mice and took some observations about their behavior and health with and without the protein. MANF worked like a normalizer and provided many positive results for the tests conducted. Arrieta says that they were not aware of the proteins beneficial working because it was dissimilar to other proteins in biological structure. She also found some evidence regarding oxidative stress after a heart attack which has an adverse harming effect. Another stress after the heart attack, called reductive stress is a reaction to the attack when the heart starts pumping so much oxygen for its use that it depletes. When tested on mice, Arrieta found that it lessened the damage done by this stress.

This research led the researchers to think of making a drug out of this protein which can be provided to the heart attack patients by the very first ones to attend him/her. Just after a heart attack is a golden time where if the patient is dosed with the protein, it can help them reduce the serious condition and the heart damage along with the advantage of heart gaining back its full functionality swiftly for quick recovery. Proteins have their own 3D shape which needs to be intact for the heart to work properly. If that disfigures, there could be an impact on heart working.

Researchers are now looking towards testing MANF on pigs as their hearts have almost identical responsiveness following a heart attack as that of humans. Different ways are being found as if how to deliver this protein to the human heart. But the study is proceeding with experiments on animals as it is a crucial phase of developing a MANF drug.