Pacific Summer Studentship (2016 funding round)

Miss Tapuaki Vehikite
University of Otago
Anti-fibrotic effect of remote ischemic preconditioning on the diabetic heart
$5,000
10 weeks

Lay summary

Diabetes leads to progressive loss of cardiovascular cells which are replaced by fibrotic scar tissue, making the heart stiff, leading to the development of contractile dysfunction of the heart. This research will determine whether remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC), a process that activates endogenous survival cascade is able to prevent the loss of cardiac cells and hence development of fibrosis in diabetic heart. This will be determined by histological analysis for cardiac fibrosis in heart tissues collected from diabetic and non-diabetic mice that underwent RIPC and correlating the level of fibrosis to contractile parameters in diabetic heart. This will be the first study to examine the effects of RIPC in protecting the diabetic heart against fibrosis, and hence therefore potential heart failure. This research is particularly important in improving health in Pacific people because, the incidence of mortality rate from diabetes related heart diseases increases five times in Pacific people.

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