Healthy Hearts Need Two Proteins Working Together

Healthy Hearts Need Two Proteins Working Together

NIH research could be a step toward a treatment to prevent heart attacks

 

Two proteins that bind to stress hormones work together to maintain a healthy heart in mice, according to scientists at the National Institutes of Health and their collaborators. These proteins, stress hormone receptors known as the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), act in concert to help support heart health. When the signaling between the two receptors is out of balance, the mice have heart disease.

The work, published April 16 in Science Signaling, may lead to the development of therapeutic compounds that help people with an increased risk of a heart attack.

Stress increases risk of dying from heart failure by inducing adrenal glands to make a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is involved in the fight-or-flight response and binds to GRs and MRs in different tissues of the body to reduce inflammation, among other functions. If the level of cortisol remains too high over a long period of time, common risk factors for heart disease may arise, such as increased cholesterol and glucose in the blood and high blood pressure.

Lead author Robert Oakley, Ph.D., first identified a malfunctioning GR in the 1990s when he was a graduate student working with John Cidlowski, Ph.D., at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Soon after the discovery, other scientists determined that people with above average amounts of this altered GR had greater risk of heart disease. Based on this finding, Oakley and Cidlowski tested a mouse strain without heart GR in their lab at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of NIH. These animals spontaneously developed enlarged hearts leading to heart failure and death. When the team produced a mouse strain missing cardiac MR, the animals’ hearts functioned normally.

Oakley and Cidlowski then wondered what would happen if both receptors were missing from heart tissue, so they made another mouse strain that lacked GR and MR. They guessed that these double-knockout mice would have the same or worse heart problems as the mice without GR.

“To our surprise the hearts were resistant to heart disease,” Oakley said.

Cidlowski theorized why the double-knockout mice appeared to be protected against heart disease. He said these mice did not have the gene changes that lead to heart failure as seen in mice lacking GR, while simultaneously exhibiting a gain in function of genes that protect the heart. Although the hearts of these mice function normally, they are slightly enlarged compared to the hearts with no MR.

The end goal, however, is treating people with heart disease. Cidlowski said, in the past, when researchers designed synthetic hormones for this task, they made molecules that only worked on one receptor.

“We propose that since GR and MR cooperate, a better approach is to make a drug that works on both receptors simultaneously,” Cidlowski said. “It could help patients with heart disease and prevent subsequent heart diseases.”

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About the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS): NIEHS supports research to understand the effects of the environment on human health and is part of the National Institutes of Health. For more information on NIEHS or environmental health topics, visit www.niehs.nih.gov or subscribe to a news list.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®

Grant Number:

ZIAES090057

 

Reference: Oakley RH, Cruz-Topete D, He B, Foley JF, Myers PH, Xu X, Gomez-Sanchez CE, Chambon P, Willis MS, Cidlowski JA. 2019. Cardiomyocyte glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors directly and antagonistically regulate heart disease in mice. Sci Signal; doi: 10.1126/scisignal.aau9685 [Online 16 April 2019].

 

Without the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), the mouse heart is enlarged, and the animal eventually has heart failure (top). However, a heart that lacks the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR)(middle) or both receptors (bottom) functions normally. NIEHS

NIEHS steals the show at the 58th annual Society of Toxicology meeting

NIEHS steals the show at the 58th annual Society of Toxicology meeting

Scientists from NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program were busy throughout the event in Baltimore, discussing science, receiving awards, demystifying grants, and answering questions. The annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting saw involvement from and awards for NIEHS and National Toxicology Program (NTP) scientists, leadership, and student researchers. Throughout the event at the Baltimore Convention Center March 10-14, NIEHS showcased its hard work through scientific and poster presentations, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant funding workshop, hands-on demonstrations, and awards The Society of Toxicology’s annual meeting, one of the largest gatherings of toxicologists, showcased more than 80 scientific sessions and 2,100 abstract presentations. MORE

Reprinted from Environmental Factor (Article and photo courtesy of Sheena Scruggs).

LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUPS UNITE TO PROVIDE FREE FLOOD CLEAN-UP SAFETY CLASSES

LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUPS UNITE TO PROVIDE FREE FLOOD CLEAN-UP SAFETY CLASSES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Hamilton County, OH – March 22, 2019 – Heavy rain, rising rivers, and basement flooding have become all too frequent for Hamilton County residents and business owners. In order to help teach residents how to stay safe during flood cleanup, the Greater Cincinnati Occupational Health Center (GCOHC)and Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council in partnership with Hamilton County Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency and ICWUC Center for Worker Health & Safety Education are offering free safety classes.

This FREE class, entitled: Flood Cleanup Safety Awareness for Sewer and Storm Back Ups will teach residents how to avoid medical problems associated with flood cleanup, how to know when to contact a professional cleaning team, protective equipment needed to stay safe, and financial or charitable assistance available to help with cleanup

This class helps participants increase their awareness of the hazards involved in post-flood cleanup, the protective equipment that may be necessary, and community resources available for those who need additional help.  The Greater Cincinnati Occupational Health Center (GCOHC) will be leading local and national partners in providing free flood clean-up safety workshops to all interested participants.

This class will cover topics including post-flooding mold growth and health effects of mold; clean-up techniques and protective measures; building assessment of mold hazards; respirators and personal protective equipment (PPE). Participants will be given flood booklets from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (in Spanish or English). Workshops are free and classes can be customized and offered in both English and Spanish.

The current schedule for these free workshops is as follows:

THURSDAY, APRIL 4 – 6:30-8:30 PM

IBEW / NECA Electrical Training Center

5455 Glenway Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45238

SATURDAY, APRIL 6 – 10 AM-NOON

IBEW / NECA Electrical Training Center

5455 Glenway Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45238

THURSDAY, MAY 2 – 6:30-8:30 PM

American Postal Workers Union

1385 Tennessee Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45229

SATURDAY, MAY 4 – 10 AM-NOON

American Postal Workers Union

1385 Tennessee Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45229

Future classes will be posted on social media by GCOHC, Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council, and Hamilton County Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency. Private classes can be scheduled for communities, churches and organizations involving 15 or more trainees. For information or registration email info@gchoc.org or call 513-421-1846 ext. 5 or 6.

Schwable Joins GCOHC Board

Schwable Joins GCOHC Board

The GCOHC is pleased and proud to welcome Troy Schwable, Captain, City of Kettering Fire & Rescue (Retired 3-16-2019) to its board of Directors. Troy’s life as a dedicated and professional first responder means he brings experience as Senior Hazardous Materials Supervisor, charged with HazMat operations as well as that of a Paramedic, Fire Inspector and Fire Fighter. Troy completed 12+ years as IT management in KFD. Retired from Ohio Task Force One, FEMA Urban Search and Rescue as one of its founding members. He served as Heavy Lifting and Rigging Technician, Technical Information Specialist, Hazardous Materials Specialist with Weapons of Mass Destruction Certifications, Overall Cache/Logistics Manager and Technical Team Manager during my 17 years with OHTF-1. As with Luis, Troy’s benefit to our Governing Board and Training team is immeasurable.

Troy Miller, New GCOHC Vice Chair

Troy Miller, New GCOHC Vice Chair

The GCOHC is proud to welcome Troy L. Miller the his new role as GCOHC Board Vice Chair. Troy Graduated from Lakota High School in West Chester, OH in June of 1991 and attended the Northwestern Business College in Lima, OH he successfully completed an Associate Degree in Applied Science with a Major in Auto-Diesel Technology.

He began working at Southern Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA)/Metro in March of 1994 and joined the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 627 at age 20. In June of 2002, at the age of 29, he was elected Executive Board Member/Steward of Maintenance. Then in June 2005, at the age of 32, Troy became Vice President of Local 627 and was Re-Elected in 2008. In June 2011 Troy was elected President/Business Agent by the membership and is currently serving his 3rd term.

Troy was Elected Chairman of the Ohio Legislation Conference Board where he has served three consecutive terms and is currently the Chairman of that board. In June of 2011, he was appointed as a Trustee for the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council and then re-elected for 2 more terms (2012 and 2016).

In February 2015, he was appointed as one of two Vice Presidents to The Ohio State AFL-CIO by Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga. He was then elected in his own right in the fall of 2018. Currently Troy represents both the public and private sector (ATU Local 627 has 1 public sector which is SORTA (Big Bus) and 2 private sectors – MV (Paratransit) and Transdev (Cincinnati Streetcar)) and has successfully negotiated both public and private contracts.

In 1994 Troy became a volunteer Firefighter in Liberty Township where the following year he was hired onto the Liberty Township Fire Department where he spent the next twenty years serving the community before stepping down as a Part-time Firefighter/EMT in 2014

Troy is a Master Mason of Western Hills/Cheviot Lodge 140 in Cincinnati, OH and Scottish Rite from Cincinnati, OH Troy is married and has two children (Tiffany born in 2004 and Karyn born 2006). He and his family are members of Bethany Baptist Church in Liberty Township where he is active, and he enjoys coaching Upward Basketball and helping kids.