New therapeutic targets to treat cardiovascular diseases

Cardiovascular (CV) diseases are a major health concern in industrialized countries. Heart failure (HF) is the only disease that is increasing in prevalence in Europe and the USA, currently with 2% of health costs in developed countries. HF is generally defined as inability of the heart to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the body needs. Despite modern efficient therapies, the annual mortality rate of heart failure is still ~10%. Most cases of HF are caused by diseases of heart muscle consecutive to a stress (hypertension, infarct, aortic regurgitation, toxicity, etc.) that results, when prolonged or excessive, in pathologic remodeling of the ventricular chamber, contractile dysfunction, depressed energy production transfer and utilization, and increased apoptosis. HF may also occur as a side-effect of cancer therapy. While left ventricular failure is the most common cause of HF, failure of the right heart is observed in pulmonary hypertension (PAH), secondary to remodeling of small pulmonary vessels. Thus identification of new targets and design of innovative treatments is of crucial importance in terms of quality of life, health of the population and health costs.

This project is divided in three sub-projects: T1-1; T1-2 and T1-3