March 30, 2015 – PDE 9


Anchor lead: A new pathway leading to heart failure has been identified, Elizabeth Tracey reports.

Heart failure is a leading cause of death worldwide, with more and more people affected by the condition as they age.  Now David Kass, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues have shown that a novel pathway is involved in one type of heart failure.

Kass: There are two kinds of heart failure.  Heart failure where the heart looks big and flabby and just doesn’t contract well, and then there’s a kind of heart failure that’s been given a name, heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction or HFPEF, about half of all heart failure.  Everything that works in the big flabby weak heart has not really benefited people with HFPEF, so we’ve looked at PDE 9 in human hearts in this study.  What really struck everyone when we saw this is that it’s really upregulated in these patients who have HFPEF.    :32

Kass’s group identified the major pathway involved in the other type of heart failure several years ago and has also found drugs that help.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.