Cardiac Muscle

Inhibitor reduces heart muscle calcification

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Science  16 Dec 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6318, pp. 1388-1389
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6318.1388-e

Electrical impulses propagate through the heart for proper cardiac function. Heart muscle calcification, which can occur with aging, disease, or injury, blocks electrical conduction, resulting in cardiac pump dysfunction and arrhythmias. By tracing cell lineage, Pillai et al. show that cardiac fibroblasts induce this mineralization and take on an osteoblast cell–like fate. Calcification was reduced in mice by administering a small molecule inhibitor that effectively blocks the bone mineralization enzyme ENPP1. Hence, calcification associated with disease or injury may be prevented by targeting ENPP1 to restore cardiac muscle function.

Blocking the mineralization enzyme ENPP1 prevents muscle calcification.

PHOTO: I. C. L. PILLAI ET AL., CELL STEM CELL 20 (2 FEBRUARY 2017) © 2016 ELSEVIER INC.

Cell Stem Cell 10.1016/j.stem.2016.10.005 (2016).

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