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Science. 2011 Oct 28;334(6055):528-31. doi: 10.1126/science.1210558.

Fatty acids identified in the Burmese python promote beneficial cardiac growth.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.

Abstract

Burmese pythons display a marked increase in heart mass after a large meal. We investigated the molecular mechanisms of this physiological heart growth with the goal of applying this knowledge to the mammalian heart. We found that heart growth in pythons is characterized by myocyte hypertrophy in the absence of cell proliferation and by activation of physiological signal transduction pathways. Despite high levels of circulating lipids, the postprandial python heart does not accumulate triglycerides or fatty acids. Instead, there is robust activation of pathways of fatty acid transport and oxidation combined with increased expression and activity of superoxide dismutase, a cardioprotective enzyme. We also identified a combination of fatty acids in python plasma that promotes physiological heart growth when injected into either pythons or mice.

PMID:
22034436
PMCID:
PMC3383835
DOI:
10.1126/science.1210558
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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