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Mouse Study Evaluates Role of Gdf5 Following Heart Damage

Expression of growth differentiation factor 5 higher in mice following myocardial infarction

THURSDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Growth differentiation factor 5 (Gdf5) -- also known as bone morphogenetic protein 14 -- appears to play a role in cardiac repair following myocardial infarction, according to research published in the Jan. 12 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Syed H.E. Zaidi, Ph.D., of the University Health Network in Toronto, and colleagues analyzed data from Gdf5-knockout and wild-type mice, that underwent coronary artery ligation.

The researchers found that, in wild-type mice, Gdf5 levels were increased at seven and 14 days after the myocardial infarction compared to untreated controls. Gdf5-knockout mice and wild-type mice had similar-sized infarct areas seven days after their myocardial infarction; however, at 28 days, the knockout mice had a 42 percent larger infarct area. At 28 days, knockout mice also had greater reductions in measurements of cardiac function than wild-type mice.

"The idea to use Gdf5 for therapeutic approaches is not entirely new and has been applied to induce formation and healing of tendons or bones, protect neurons in Parkinson's disease, or improve erectile dysfunction. The detrimental effects of the lack of Gdf5 on outcome after myocardial infarction suggest therapeutic beneficial effects with this factor for cardiac healing," write the authors of an accompanying editorial. "Approaches using Gdf5 might translate into new clinical translational strategies for post-myocardial infarction treatment."

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