After increased cardiac load, hypertrophy is first an adaptive response but leads to a progressive process known as myocardial remodeling. Eventually, the contractile function of the heart to maintain sufficient blood flow for the body is compromised. The signaling pathways regulating remodeling and development of heart failure are poorly understood.
We aim to identify the function and targets of signaling proteins which play key roles in cardiac development, but whose role in adult heart hypertrophy is not known. In particular, we study how the modulation of growth factor signaling pathways affects cardiac hypertrophy. We use transgenic mice and pharmacological approach to study growth factor signaling in normal cardiac physiology and in several models of cardiac diseases. We suggest specific growth factor modulation to blunt mechanisms that contribute to pathological cardiac remodeling in heart failure while preserving myocyte contractile function and viability.