- Aaron Olson
- Seattle Children's Hospital
Congenital heart surgery frequently causes a decrease in heart function during the early post-operative recovery period that prolongs the need for intensive care and increases the risk of serious complications and death. Recently, basic scientists have identified an important mechanism of the body’s natural response to abnormal stresses similar to those encountered from cardiac surgery. The technical term for this process is O-GlcNAcylation and it involves the rapid, simultaneous modifications of multiple proteins that then change the function of an organ such as the heart. We believe that increasing cardiac O-GlcNAcylation could represent a novel therapy that uses the body’s intrinsic adaptation to stress in order to reduce death and improve recovery from cardiac surgery in children. For this project, we will determine whether using medications to increase O-GlcNAcylation will improve the heart’s recovery from heart surgery in an animal model of pediatric heart surgery.