Research briefs: Prolactin implicated in cardiomyopathy

Prolactin-blocking drugs may play a role in reversing or preventing post-partum cardiomyopathy (PPCM), according to US research. Studies in mice showed that those that lacked the gene STAT3, specifically in heart muscle cells, consistently developed PPCM. The researchers then found a similar imbalance in humans. However, prolactin-blocking drugs were found to overcome the heart damage caused by a lack of the gene STAT3. Women with PPCM who were given prolactin-blocking drugs showed an increased heart function and all survived the four-month observation period (Cell Online 2007).

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