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New OMRF research may lessen diabetic effects on the heart

New research from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation might hold promise for reversing changes to the heart caused by diabetes.
BY GREG ELWELL Published: December 11, 2012
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/articleid/3736435/1/pictures/1904730">Photo - OMRF scientist Kenneth Humphries, Ph.D., is researching how diabetes might damage mitochondria in heart cells, leading to increased free radical production and weakened heart muscles.  Photo by Steve Sisney. <strong>STEVE SISNEY</strong>
OMRF scientist Kenneth Humphries, Ph.D., is researching how diabetes might damage mitochondria in heart cells, leading to increased free radical production and weakened heart muscles. Photo by Steve Sisney. STEVE SISNEY

In response to the diabetes, the proteins in the heart cells had been modified to limit the kind of fuel it could accept. But if those changes could be reversed, it would allow the cells to continue using more kinds of fuel and improve energy production.

“Getting them closer to a prediabetic condition could save lives,” Humphries said.

The next step is to find exactly which proteins in the heart cells are being modified and to understand what conditions might allow modifications to be reversed.

Funding for the research was provided by the National Center for Research Resources, a part of the National Institutes of Health.

Greg Elwell is a public affairs specialist with Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.


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