Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
RANDOX LABORATORIES

Events

10 May 2016 - 16 May 2016
11 May 2016 - 13 May 2016

Gene Therapy Induces Functional Pacemaker Cells in Pig Heart Failure Model

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 30 Jul 2014
Print article
Image: This type of electronic pacemaker could become obsolete if induction of biological pacemaker cells by gene therapy proves successful (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
Image: This type of electronic pacemaker could become obsolete if induction of biological pacemaker cells by gene therapy proves successful (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
Cardiovascular disease researchers working with a porcine heart failure model have demonstrated the practicality of using gene therapy to replace implanted electronic pacemakers to regulate heartbeat.

Investigators at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute (Los Angeles, CA, US) examined whether adenoviral-TBX18 gene transfer could create biological pacemaker activity in vivo in a large-animal model of complete heart block. The Tbx18 gene is required for development of pacemaker cells in the heart during fetal development but is normally not functional after birth.

Tbx18 gene therapy is aimed at treating a group of arrhythmias known as sick sinus syndrome. In a healthy heart, sinoatrial (SA) nodal cells act as the heart’s pacemaker and cause the heart to beat in a regular rhythm. While SA nodal cells comprise only about 10 thousand of the 10 billion cells in the heart, they play a crucial role in the heart’s function. In sick sinus syndrome the SA node does not function properly and causes irregular heartbeat. Currently the treatment for sick sinus syndrome is to remove the SA nodal cells that are not functioning properly and to implant an electronic pacemaker to maintain a regular rhythm. However, currently used electronic pacemakers have drawbacks such as equipment malfunction, limited battery life, lack of nervous system regulation, and risks associated with implantation of the device in one’s chest.

The investigators reported in the July 16, 2014, online edition of the journal Science Translational Medicine that functional SA nodal cells, which could be identified by their distinctive morphology, were found at the site of adenovirus-TBX18 injection shortly after intramyocardial injection of the material. Biological pacemaker activity was evident in the TBX18-transduced animals starting at day two and persisted for the duration of the study (14 days) with minimal backup electronic pacemaker use. No local or systemic safety concerns arose during the course of the study.

“We have been able, for the first time, to create a biological pacemaker using minimally invasive methods and to show that the biological pacemaker supports the demands of daily life,” said senior author Dr. Eduardo Marbán, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. “We also are the first to reprogram a heart cell in a living animal in order to effectively cure a disease. Originally, we thought that biological pacemaker cells could be a temporary bridge therapy for patients who had an infection in the implanted pacemaker area. These results show us that with more research, we might be able to develop a long-lasting biological treatment for patients.”

The investigators hope that continued success with animal studies will lead to human clinical trials in about three years.

Related Links:
Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute



Print article

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: An artistic rendering of the Zika virus structure (Photo courtesy of Dr. Guntur Fibriansah, Duke-NUS Medical School).

High Resolution Structure of Zika virus Expected to Aid Vaccine Development

A team of molecular virologists used advanced cryo-electron microscopy techniques to establish a high-resolution structure for the Zika virus, a formerly neglected pathogen that has recently been associated... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel

Experimental Small-Molecule Anticancer Drug Blocks RAS-binding Domains

The experimental small-molecule anticancer drug rigosertib was shown to block tumor growth by acting as an RAS-mimetic and interacting with the RAS binding domains of RAF kinases, resulting in their inability to bind to RAS, which inhibited the RAS-RAF-MEK pathway. Oncogenic activation of RAS genes due to point mutations... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel
Image: A space-filling model of the anticonvulsant drug carbamazepine (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Wastewater May Contaminate Crops with Potentially Dangerous Pharmaceuticals

Reclaimed wastewater used to irrigate crops is contaminated with pharmaceutical residues that can be detected in the urine of those who consumed such produce. Investigators at the Hebrew University... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

Huge Modifiable Biomedical Database to Be Available on the Wikidata Site

Genome researchers are exploiting the power of the open Internet community Wikipedia database to create a comprehensive resource for geneticists, molecular biologists, and other interested life scientists. While efficiency in generating scientific data improves almost daily, applying meaningful relationships between... Read more

Business

view channel

European Biotech Agreement to Promote Antigen-Drug Conjugation Technology

Two European biotech companies have joined forces to exploit and commercialize an innovative, site-specific ADC (antigen-drug conjugate) conjugation technology. ProBioGen (Berlin, Germany), a company specializing in the development and manufacture of complex glycoproteins and Eucodis Bioscience (Vienna, Austria), a... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2016 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.