Impact of spatio-temporal deregulation of mitochondria on cell death in acute myocardial infarction

 

Lead Academic Co-Investigators Centre Fellow(s) Project title 
Fabian Spill

Peter Ashwin (CEMPS)

Melani Madhani (BIRM)

Daniel Tennant (BIRM)

Tanya Zerenner Impact of spatio-temporal deregulation of mitochondria on cell death in acute myocardial infarction

 

Lay summary:

Heart attack is one of the major factors of death in the UK and worldwide; yet, we still have no drugs to help survival. Heart attack occurs because the blood supply to the heart muscle is cut off. This causes the heart cells to die due to lack of oxygen and nutrients. Within each heart cell, there are organelles called the “mitochondria”. These mitochondria provide the heart cell with the energy to contract and pump blood around the body in normal conditions. When a heart attack limits oxygen supply, these mitochondria can trigger the death of a cell. Paradoxically, cell death can also be triggered after doctors have resupplied blood to the heart following a heart attack.


Mitochondria are very dynamic, and, for example, can change their shape and their localisation within a heart cell in response to a lack of oxygen. We suspect that this dynamism is related to the triggering of cell death. We are therefore developing mathematical models that can predict how cell death is triggered and use it to uncover how drugs targeting mitochondria may stop cell death. We will also perform microscopy of the mitochondria to investigate how their shape affects drug response.


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