Approximately 5 million people in the United States suffer from heart failure. Stanford inventors in the laboratory of Dr. Daria Mochly-Rosen have developed a method for treating heart failure using a peptide inhibitor of a specific protein kinase C (PKC) isozyme.
Using a rat model for hypertension, the inventors demonstrated that the peptide slowed the progress of heart failure. The peptide in combination with an angiotension II receptor blocker (ARB) showed improved outcomes over treatment with the ARB alone. The inhibitor was also used in a post-MI model of heart failure, demonstrating similar benefit including: improved cardiac function, reduced death, and improved calcium handling.
The treatment appears safe in healthy animals and proved beneficial in diabetic animals. Therefore, it may exert further benefit in patients with heart failure who also have diabetes. Further evidence suggests that the peptide could have potential applications in treating arterial stenosis.