When a healthy individual’s heart rate increases during physical activity, the heart beats faster and stronger. This response is significantly impaired in patients with heart failure because their hearts lose the ability to beat extremely stronger and faster, a hallmark of the cardiovascular disease itself.
“We aim to unravel the functional and molecular processes involved in the regulation of heart-rate-dependent strength and speed. Using contracting heart muscles from animal models, as well as human heart muscle tissue, we will investigate the contribution of functional modifications of proteins involved in heart-rate dependent contractile regulation,” says principal investigator Paul Janssen, associate professor of physiology and cell biology and also of cardiovascular medicine at Ohio State’s College of Medicine.
Researchers say completion of this study will further the understanding of rate-dependent activation in health and disease, and may likely provide critical new information that can be used to strategize future treatment options for patients with heart failure.