Emory basic research highlights for #AHA16

Basic research presentations at 2016 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions: cell therapy for heart attack (mesenchymal stem cells) in animal models and role of CD73, gradual release drug for atrial fibrillation, how particles from stored blood affects blood vessels.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells Require CD73 Activity to Reduce Leukocyte Associated Inflammation Following Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury

Nov.13, 1:30 pm, Science and Technology Hall- Basic Science Theater

Cell therapy, using the patient’s own cells to reduce damage to the heart after a heart attack, has been a hot topic. Mesenchymal stem cells are derived from the bone marrow and can’t replace heart muscle. But they do exert anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects, Eric Shin, MD, Rebecca Levit, MD and colleagues show in a rat model of heart attack.

The researchers use the gel material alginate to encapsulate the cells, in a way previously described by Levit. They say this is the first study to demonstrate that mesenchymal stem cells reduce reactive oxygen species production in the heart. and that the molecule CD73, which degrades ATP/ADP into adenosine, is needed for the anti-inflammatory effect. CD73 is also a cancer immunotherapy target.

Minimally Invasive Delivery of a Sustained Release Amiodarone Hydrogel to the Epicardium for Refractory Atrial Fibrillation

Nov. 13, 3:45 pm, Science and Technology Hall-Clinical Science II Section

The drug amiodarone is often prescribed for control of heart arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, but can have toxic effects upon the lungs, eyes, thyroid and liver. Rebecca Levit, MD, Andres Garcia, PhD (Georgia Tech) and colleagues have developed a method to deliver amiodarone directly to the heart in an extended release gel to reduce off-target toxicity. The method, including a minimally invasive delivery device, was tested in rats and pigs.

Red Blood Cell Derived Microparticles Transfer Hemoglobin to Vascular Endothelial Cells, Activate the Heme Oxygenase System, and Mitigate Inflammatory Response

Nov. 15, 12:45 pm, Science and Technology Hall-Basic Science Section

The effects of transfusions of old stored blood, on surgery or intensive care patients, have been debated and tested in clinical trials. Red blood cells are known to generate “microparticles” during storage.

Adam Mitchell, MD, Charles Searles, MD and colleagues investigate the effects of these microparticles on human endothelial cells. They show that the particles transfer hemoglobin to endothelial cells in vitro, possibly accounting for observed antioxidative effects of the particles.

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Quinn Eastman

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