A protein has been found that influences the response of the heart to a lack of oxygen and blood flow, such as occurs during a heart attack, reports a team of Yale School of Medicine researchers. The results of this study may present a new therapeutic approach to treating loss of blood flow and oxygen to the heart.
During this week’s podcast, Dr. Richard Bucala, co-author of the paper which appeared in Nature (451, 578-582, 31 Jan 2008, Letter), discusses his team’s finding that macrophage migration inhibitory factor influences the response of the heart to a lack of oxygen and blood flow. He also provides details on how MIF affects the heart’s response. Since MIF had previously been shown to regulate the immune response and the body’s response to infection, he talks about how his research team built on this knowledge to shed light on MIF’s impact on the heart.
Dr. Bucala talks about how the new finding might lead to a new therapeutic method for treating loss of blood flow and oxygen to the heart and describes research his group has planned to further our understanding of MIF's influence on the heart’s response to lack of oxygen and blood flow.