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Cardiovascular disease

Cardiomyopathy; heart failure

Growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11)

Studies in mice suggest GDF11 could be useful for treating age-related cardiac hypertrophy. In an experimental system in which young and old mice share a circulatory system, long-term exposure to young blood reversed cardiac hypertrophy in old mice. In old mice, expression of Gdf11 was lower than that in young mice. In old mice, intraperitoneal injection of recombinant GDF11 decreased cardiac hypertrophy compared with vehicle injection. Next steps include testing levels of GDF11 in young and old humans and optimizing recombinant GDF11 to improve its stability in vivo.

SciBX 6(22); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.546
Published online June 6, 2013

Patent pending; available for licensing

Loffredo, F.S. et al. Cell;
published online May 9, 2013;
Contact: Richard T. Lee, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass.
Contact: Amy J. Wagers, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.