Published: 16 Nov 2015 | Last Updated: 16 Nov 2015 16:18:19

Professor Gurtej Dhoot has been awarded a grant by British Heart Foundation for “Mechanism of Sulf1/Sulf2 function in cardiovascular development and myocardial repair”  

This study will take place over the next 3 years.  

Professor Dhoot explains what the study will involve: "The heart circulates blood and thus oxygen and nutrients to all tissues but also requires good blood supply itself for its pumping action. The blockage of its blood supply severely reduces its pumping function. One of the major challenges is thus to find a way to enhance recovery by re-stablishing the blood flow to the injured heart.

A number of growth factors are known to promote blood vessel formation but their application to the injured heart does not work due to the increased influx of some unknown inhibitors. Our recent study identified a family of enzymes called Sulf1 and Sulf2 that control the potency of growth factors that promote blood vessel formation. Our unpublished studies show the involvement of Sulf1/Sulf2 enzymes in generating new blood vessels to re-vascularise the injured heart and we aim to determine their role as mediators of blood vessel growth. Understanding the mechanism of their action could provide therapeutic targets for cardiovascular disease.  

The aim of this study is to understand the mechanism by which re-vascularisation of the injured heart is controlled by regulating the balance of angiogenic enhancers and their inhibitors. Understanding such control and its application to injured heart could help restore cardiac function.  

It is critical to understand what controls the activities of inhibitory and enhancing molecules to facilitate efficient re-vascularisation of the injured heart following myocardial infarction. This would enable the use of such factors to enhance myocardial recovery following ischaemic injury."   

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