Investigating the role of intranasally administered oxytocin in experimental models of pressure-induced cardiac failure

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Investigating the role of intranasally administered oxytocin in experimental models of pressure-induced cardiac failure

Title of Project

Investigating the role of intranasally administered oxytocin in experimental models of pressure-induced cardiac failure

Name of Advisor/s

Dr Robert Kinobe

College

College of Public Health, Medical & Veterinary Science

Summary of Project

Though chronic high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart failure are significant health and financial burdens, novel insights promoting the development of new treatments are lacking. Chronic hypertension leads to pathological enlargement of the heart (hypertrophy), heart failure, and often death. Several endogenously secreted compounds including hormones such as oxytocin may be involved in the regulation of hypertrophy and heart failure caused by chronic hypertension. Recent studies have shown that oxytocin may exert beneficial effects in an experimental model of coronary heart disease, but no scientific study has examined the effects of oxytocin on chronic pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy and failure. We predict that oxytocin will blunt the pathological effects of chronic hypertension, preventing hypertrophy and heart failure from developing. We will determine effects of systemically administered oxytocin on heart size and performance, cell death, inflammation and fibrosis, in response to chronic hypertension induced by chronic administration of angiotensin II in rats. We will investigate mechanisms that underlie the effects of oxytocin in protecting the heart from chronic hypertension. Knowledge gained from this work will be vital for evaluation of oxytocin as a novel strategy for treatment of cardiac failure resulting from chronic hypertension.

Key Words

Hypertension, Kidney Failure, Fibrosis,

Would suit an applicant who

Is applying for MSc or PhD