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Oklahoma research could lead to new treatment for heart valve condition

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientists Yen Chun Ho, Ph.D., and Sathish Srinivasan, PhD.
Provided by the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientists Yen Chun Ho, Ph.D., and Sathish Srinivasan, PhD.

Research out of Oklahoma could lead to a new treatment for a heart valve condition impacting millions of Americans.

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist Sathish Srinivasan studies the lymphatic system, which transports tissue fluid through the body with the assistance of lymphatic valves. Srinivasan wondered if his research could apply to heart valves.

“It turned out to be a good guess,” Srinivasan said in a release.

The foundation learned that two essential proteins for lymphatic valve function are key for the heart. They tested a treatment that can imitate the proteins, and dysfunctional heart valves showed major improvements.

People who don’t have one or both proteins can have enlarged heart valves. Preventing this overgrowth could help treat dysfunctional valves found in conditions like mitral valve prolapse. This is when the heart’s mitral valve doesn’t open and close completely, causing inadequate blood flow.

This research was supported by a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and funding from the Oklahoma Center for Adult Stem Cell Research.

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Jillian Taylor reports on health and related topics for StateImpact Oklahoma.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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