THE UNEXPECTED CARDIOPROTECTION BY EPIGENETIC FOODS

  • Vincenzo Lionetti | emanuela.fusinato@pagepress.org TRANCRILAB - Laboratory of Translational Critical Care Medicine, Institute of Life Sciences, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy.

Abstract

Epigenetic changes affect the gene expression profile of cells without altering the DNA sequence in response to different environmental stimuli, such as the diet. Several dietary plant compounds have the epigenetic ability to prevent both the onset and the progression of different diseases, including cardiovascular diseases that are one of the most common in the world. Heart failure following perioperative myocardial infarction is a complex clinical syndrome without cure, also affecting high-risk patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery. It is characterized by serious decay of cardiac pump function as a result of ongoing remodelling of the myocardium. Despite the increasing use of conventional medications has reduced the mortality of patients with myocardial infarction, the outcome remains unpredictable so far. The past three decades have witnessed incessant research aimed at protecting the adult myocardium against ischemic injury, but the development of effective strategies to prevent the maladaptive tissue remodelling is still a desirable achievement. Recent findings reveal that the dietary intake of natural bioactive components with known antioxidant activity improves the intercellular communication and increases the tolerance of both cardiomyocytes and coronary endothelial cells against the ischemic microenvironment. The Epigenetic activation of rescue genes prevents the decay of function of the abovementioned cardiac cells. Consequently, this scenario would reduce the myocardial accumulation of collagen responsible for the tightening of the heart walls. Whereas the noninvasive delivery of cardioprotectant epigenetic compounds through diet is a promising approach, regulatory mechanisms need to be unravelled.

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Published
2017-07-27
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Lectio Magistralis
Keywords:
epigenetics, myocardial remodelling, cardioprotection, diet
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How to Cite
Lionetti, V. (2017). THE UNEXPECTED CARDIOPROTECTION BY EPIGENETIC FOODS. Journal of the Siena Academy of Sciences, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/jsas.2016.6951