Image of elderly dog By Jon Sullivan via Wikimedia Commons
The mitral valve is located between the left atrium and left ventricle of the heart where it serves an important role in preventing backflow of blood into the left atrium as the ventricle contracts. Mitral valve prolapse, a condition that occurs in humans, is characterized by regurgitation of blood into the left atrium, which receives blood from the lungs. Hence, this condition can lead to congestive heart failure as blood backs up in the lungs.
Scientists at Tufts University, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, were studying dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease (similar to mitral valve prolapse in humans) and congestive heart failure when they discovered the presence of specific biomarkers located in extracellular vesicles (i.e. exosomes) that circulate in the blood. Their results were published in the Journal of Extracellular Vesicles. For dogs, myxomatous mitral valve disease is the most common cause of heart disease and congestive heart failure. The team found that the expression of these biomarkers changed with aging and as the disease progressed.
This discovery may lead to new approaches in monitoring disease progression. First author Vicky Yang, D.V.M, Ph.D. stated “There are currently no medical treatments available …read more
Source:: Science Blogs – Life Science