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Preventing or reversing inflammation after heart attack, stroke may require 2-pronged approach
Date:2/28/2010

Researchers at Albany Medical College are releasing results of a study this week that they say will help refocus the search for new drug targets aimed at preventing or reversing the devastating tissue inflammation that results after heart attack and stroke.

In the March 5 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, lead author Alejandro P. Adam and his colleagues at the college's Center for Cardiovascular Science are reporting that vascular cells' ability to properly regulate fluid movement is not necessarily affected solely by the activity of an enzyme that for years has been in the crosshairs of scientists and pharmaceutical developers.

"Learning the mechanisms of inflammation is a key step in the development of new and better therapies to improve the outcome of widespread pathologies, such as stroke, heart attack, septic shock and pulmonary edema," said Adam, a postdoctoral fellow at the cardiovascular center. "To determine which are the best targets for treatment, we need to understand exactly what role each molecule is playing in the regulation of the vessel walls, and we found that the enzyme Src may be needed to get changes in barrier function but by itself is not sufficient."

Blood vessels, which form a tight barrier between blood and the surrounding tissues, are composed of endothelial cells that act as gatekeepers, controlling how, when and where molecules of water, solutes and blood cells pass through them into the body's tissues.

Previous studies have shown blocking the enzyme Src altered the structure of a protein known to hold the endothelial cells together, thus, keeping their barriers tight and limiting tissue damage caused by fluid accumulation, or edema.

"We found that Src indeed adds several phosphates to this protein, but this addition of the phosphates did not alter barrier function of the endothelial cells," explained professor Peter A. Vincent, who oversaw the team's research. "Th
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Contact: Angela Hopp
ahopp@asbmb.org
301-634-7389
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Source:Eurekalert  

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