Scientists from the University of Shizuoka found sarpogrelate, an antiplatelet medication, has potential as a new heart failure therapy and may decrease health care costs linked to the disease.
The study was conducted by Kana Shimizu, M.S., et al.
Cardiac hypertrophy is the abnormal enlargement, or thickening, of the muscles of the heart and can lead to heart failure.
One way that cardiac hypertrophy occurs is when cardiomyocytes, the cells that are responsible for contracting the heart muscle, become thicker than normal.
The thickened cells become stiff, reducing the amount of blood pumped out to the body with each contraction of the heart (heartbeat). This cellular contraction eventually leads to the progression of heart failure.
Cardiac hypertrophy is the most common form of genetic heart disease, and it is estimated that 1 in every 500 people are affected, yet a large percentage are undiagnosed.
People with cardiac hypertrophy are at higher risk of blood clots, stroke, heart failure, cardiac arrest, and other heart-related complications.
In the study, researchers screened a variety of compounds that suppress cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and identified the antiplatelet medication sarpogrelate as a potential candidate.
They examined the effects of sarpogrelate on cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and the development of heart failure in mice.
They found at the end of an eight-week study period, the mice who received 5 mg/kg of sarpogrelate daily were much less likely to develop heart failure.
These findings suggest that this approved antiplatelet medication can strongly suppress cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and the development of heart failure.
Sarpogrelate may be an effective, low-cost agent for heart failure therapy, however, more research is needed to understand the mechanisms of this medication.
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