Heart Failure Causing ‘Missing Culprit' IdentifiedScientists have claimed to have identified the main guilty or culprit of heart failure, and they have referred it as “the long-sought culprit”.

The scientists from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and their colleagues   experimented with animals and human heart cells in laboratories, and detected that an enzyme referred as PDE-9 interfered with the natural “braking” system of the body which was urgent to neutralize the adverse effect of stress on the heart.

The experiments conducted showed that the enzyme devoured a signaling molecule called cGMP which enhanced the production of the heart protecting protein named PKG in the heart. The enzyme PDE-9 naturally occurred in brain, gut, and kidneys, and had already been identified as responsible for neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer, the research scientists said. The newer study revealed that the enzyme PDE-9 had been present in the heart also, and it had been significantly at a high level in those suffering from heart failure. Scientists added that it had proved the enzyme to be the real “offender” and facilitator of heart muscle demise leading to heart failure.

The comprehension of the role of enzyme was based on the knowledge that the health of the muscle heart was protected by two different mechanisms or signaling pathways. Each pathway was activated by two different chemicals namely nitric oxide and natriuretic peptide, and it produced cGMP. The cGMP in turn enhances the PKG, the most important heart muscle protector. In a majority of heart failure cases both cGMP and PKG had been found broken down. David Kass, senior investigator and professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the Heart and Vascular Institute, had about a decade ago identified the culprit in one of the two pathways, and the culprit was named as PDE-5. Ever since then, efforts had been on to pinpoint the culprit for the second pathway. The team of scientists said that the PDE-9’s discovery had been momentous, and long sought after. They added that the culprits in both pathways leading to heart failures had now been identified.