Healing the Heart

Histone deacetylase inhibitor found to reverse enlarged hearts, help prevent heart failure

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) There are times when doctors struggle to heal difficult ailments, but researchers may have actually found a way to reverse effects leading to heart failure. This new research eventually could be available for humans.

A drug typically used to treat cancer has been found to reverse heart enlargement and restore function when heart failure due to hypertension begins to occur. Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center said the drug would help prevent heart failure.

"Ask your cardiologist about HDAC."

So far the study has been limited to mice, but  the drug, a type of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, has already demonstrated its ability to reverse harmful effects of autophagy in the heart muscle cells of mice. Autography is a natural process that occurs when cells eat their own proteins to provide necessary resources during times of stress.

Dr. Joseph Hill, chief of cardiology and director of the Harry S. Moss Heart Center at UT Southwestern, said the powerful finding that disease regression is possible clears the way for new strategies in hypertensive heart disease.

Hill and other researchers already knew that all forms of heart disease mean too much or too little autophagy, such as when blood pressure is elevated and the heart enlarges, which can ultimately lead to heart failure.

The finding was originally discovered through studies on yeast and is expected to be studied in humans in the future.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 31, 2011
Last Updated:
June 2, 2011